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Egypt arrests four over deadly church blast

Update: December, 13/2016 - 11:00
Egyptian clergymen and officials carry the coffins of the victims of a church bombing in Cairo, on December 12, 2016. — AFP/VNA Photo
Viet Nam News

CAIRO — Egypt said Monday it had arrested four people suspected of involvement in a devastating bombing of a Cairo Coptic church, as grief-stricken mourners gathered for the funeral of the dead.

The health ministry said 25 people had been killed in the bombing at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church on Sunday.

It was the deadliest attack in recent memory on the Christian minority, who make up about 10 per cent of Egypt’s population.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, speaking at the funeral, said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who had been identified as 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafik Mohamed Mostafa.

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

Most of the victims were women, authorities have said.

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

There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing, but Coptic Christians have been previously targeted in Egypt.

Wooden coffins, each bearing a cross, were covered with the country’s flag and lined up at the Saint Mary and Saint Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church in the Nasr City district on Monday.

A woman who lost two daughters in the attack cried and fell to the ground next to their coffins as other mourners prayed silently. — AFP


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