Egypt security forces foil bombing of church outside Cairo

REUTERS
CAIRO
Published

A would-be suicide bomber was killed outside Cairo on Saturday after security forces prevented him from reaching a Coptic church that was his apparent target, a security official said.

Tight security in the vicinity of the Virgin Church in the district of Shubra al-Kheima north of Cairo prevented the attacker from getting too close.

He was killed when his explosive belt then blew up, the source added on condition of anonymity.

The bomber was the only casualty in the explosion on a nearby bridge, private newspaper al-Youm al-Saba reported.

The church is the venue of an annual festival that ends on Saturday, according to the report.

In recent years, extremists have stepped up attacks on Egypt's minority Christians and their churches.

In late 2016, at least 25 people were killed in a suicide attack on a church adjoining Cairo's main cathedral.

In April last year, twin suicide bombings on Palm Sunday at two Coptic churches killed at least 47 people and prompted Egypt to declare a nationwide state of emergency.

The following month, at least 28 people were killed in an attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians on a journey to a monastery in southern Egypt.

All of the attacks were claimed by Daesh.

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