17 Jan 2011

Death sentence for Muslim who shot Coptic Christians

3:16 pm on 17 January 2011

A state security court in Egypt has sentenced a Muslim man to death for killing six Coptic Christians and a policeman in 2010.

The drive-by shooting happened outside a church on the Coptic Christmas Eve in January in the town of Naga Hamady in southern Egypt.

Mohammed Ahmed Hussain was one of three men accused of spraying worshippers with gunfire after they emerged from Christmas Eve mass.

His case caused continued bitterness in the Coptic Christian community because of the delay in bringing him to justice and because of his alleged links to a senior MP from the ruling party, the BBC reports.

Hussain's death sentence comes amid continued tension between Christian and Muslim communities.

On New Year's Eve two weeks ago, a bomb exploded outside a church in Alexandria, killing 23 Christians.