Egypt court sentences 17 to death for attacking Christians

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian rights lawyer says a military court has sentenced 17 Islamic militants to death for involvement in deadly attacks on Christians.

Khaled el-Masry said Thursday the court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria also issued life sentences to 19 defendants and sentenced another nine to 15 years in prison. He says another defendant got a 10-year term.

El-Masry says military prosecutors had accused the defendants of belonging to the Islamic State group and plotting attacks against Christian churches and security forces. The verdict can be appealed.

Egypt's Christians have been targeted by Islamic militants in a series of bombings and suicide attacks since December 2016 that have killed more than 100 and wounded scores.

Amnesty International condemned the verdict as the result of a "grossly unfair military trial."