Injured woman's death brings Cairo church toll to 28

Injured woman's death brings Cairo church toll to 28
2 min read
25 December, 2016
The death of 63-year-old Isis Fares, who was injured during a Cairo church bombing earlier this month, brings the attack's death toll to 28, including the attacker.
The bombing of the church in Cairo has left 28 people dead [AFP]

An Egyptian woman died on Saturday from injuries sustained in of a Cairo church bombing claimed by the Islamic State group earlier this month, bringing the death toll to 27, plus one suicide bomber.

Isis Fares, 63, suffered a brain injury after she was struck in the head by shrapnel during the bombing, the health ministry said in a statement.

The 11 December blast took place at the St Peter and Saint Paul church, which is adjacent to St Mark's Coptic Cathedral, the seat of the Egyptian pope and the country's main church.

Dozens of worshipers, mostly women and children, were injured in the explosion as they attended the Sunday mass.

Last week, 10-year-old Maggie Moemen, who had been in a coma since the attack, died of her injuries, as she was suffering from shrapnel in the head and damage to her lungs.

Fares' funeral will be held on Sunday at St Mark's Cathedral, where Maggie’s funeral was also held.

Another 16 people remain in the hospital to receive treatment for their injuries, according to the health ministry.

One day after the attack, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi named 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohamed Mostafa as the suicide bomber, during a funeral for the victims, while the interior ministry blamed members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood organisation residing in Qatar.

Four other people suspected of involvement in the attack, including one woman, have been arrested pending investigation into the case.

Meanwhile, IS identified the suicide bomber by the pseudonym Abu Abdallah al-Masri.

Egyptian authorities are battling an Islamist insurgency, mostly in North Sinai province. Some attacks have targeted security forces and officials in Cairo.

The attacks have worsened since the July 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in a military coup led by then army chief Sisi.

This month's bombing was the deadliest attack to target Egypt's minority Coptic Christians since a 2011 suicide bombing killed more than 20 worshippers outside a church in the coastal city of Alexandria.