Attorney General Nabil Sadik referred on Sunday 48 defendants to the military judiciary after being accused of planning the bombing of three churches in Cairo, Alexandria, and Al-Gharbia, state-owned media reported.
The defendants face accusations of establishing two terrorist cells in Cairo and Qena, which were affiliated to the Islamic State (IS), and bombing the St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Al-Abbasiya; Saint Mark’s Church in Alexandria; and Mar Girgis in Tanta. IS had claimed the three attacks were conducted by suicide bombers.
The list of accusations includes killing—and willing to kill—church’s visitors and security forces, attacking checkpoints, making bombs and ammunitions, and training with the Islamic State in Syria and Libya.
The referral of suspects to military court coincides with the Coptic Orthodox Church and Egyptian Christians commemorating the forty-day memorial of the victims of the bomb blasts at Saint Mark’s Church in Alexandria.
At least 45 Egyptian Christians were killed and dozens more injured in two blasts on two churches during Palm Sunday’s celebrations. Sunday’s first blast took place at St. George Church in Tanta, where at least 28 people were killed and 78 others wounded. The second explosion took place at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, when a suicide bomber tried entering the cathedral, leaving at least 17 dead and 48 injured.