Egypt court sentences 20 to 10-yr jail for burning church

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Cairo, Feb 20 (IANS) An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced 20 people to 10 years in prison in a case of setting fire to a church in 2013, official news agency MENA reported.

The convicted were also accused of illegal gathering, violence, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed weapons.

Investigations showed that they broke into the church in Kerdasa, Giza, threw Molotov cocktails inside and prevented people from putting out the fire.

The incident took place after a government crackdown on two major sit-ins of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in August 2013.

After the Army-led removal of Morsi in response to mass protests against his one-year rule, violence started to spread nationwide.

Thousands of loyalists of Morsi and his currently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood were detained, with some sentenced to death for murder and terror activities.

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