Egypt arrests four over deadly church bombing

2016-12-12 19:30


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Cairo - Egyptian security forces arrested four people suspected of involvement in a bomb attack on a Cairo church that killed 24 people, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Monday.

Sisi, who was speaking at a funeral for those killed, also revealed that Sunday's attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who had been identified as 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafik Mohamed Mostafa.

"He blew himself up inside the church" with an explosive belt, Sisi said.

One of the four people arrested was a woman, Sisi said, and authorities were looking for two other suspects he did not identify.

Speaking to the Coptic Church's pope, Tawadros II, during the funeral, Sisi said: "We would not have been able to come to you today, your holiness, before getting some information."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population, have been previously targeted by jihadists.

The health ministry on Monday released a new toll saying that 24 people were killed in the attack at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church, one more fatality than reported the previous day.

Most of the victims were women, authorities have said.

The blast also wounded 45 people and 21 of them were still hospitalised, the ministry said.

The attack occurred during Sunday service at the church adjacent to Saint Mark's Cathedral, the seat of Tawadros II.

Read more on:    abdel fattah al-sisi  |  egypt  |  north africa

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