Egypt police foil church bombing, arrest extremist cell

Egypt police foil Alexandria church bombing, arrest extremist cell
1 min read
25 June, 2017
Egyptian police said on Saturday they had foiled a church bombing by detaining a cell of would-be attackers who had planned to target Alexandria.
The extremist cell planned to target a church in Alexandria. [Getty]
A cell of would-be attackers who had planned to target Alexandria were detained on Saturday as Egyptian police took credit for foiling a church bombing plot.

The group of six included two suicide bombers, with one attacker planning to detonate himself inside a church and the other to blow himself up when police arrived, the interior ministry said.

The arrests come months after twin attacks in the Nile Delta cities of Tanta and Alexandria killed 46 Coptic worshipers and injured more than 100 others as they celebrated Palm Sunday.

In December 2016, a suicide bombing killed 26 people, mostly women and children, at a Coptic Christian church in Cairo.

Last month, masked gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians in southern Egypt, killing at least 28 and injuring 25, a local official said.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for each of the attacks.

Copts make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 92 million people, but discrimination against them is entrenched in both state and society.

Coptic leaders have been strongly supportive of President Sisi, despite his crackdown on opposition, the deaths of hundreds of protesters, and a perceived inability to keep Copts safe.