FILE - Security borders around a church in Egypt FILE - Security borders around a church in Egypt

Police arrests suspect in Virgin Mary church foiled bombing

Mon, Aug. 13, 2018
CAIRO - 13 August 2018: The Egyptian authorities arrested on Sunday a suspect allegedly involved in the failed bombing attack that took place near Virgin Mary church on Saturday during celebrating Virgin Mary's birthday in Mostorod, Cairo.

A suicide attack near the church in Shubra al-Khaimah city, Cairo was thwarted due to tight the security measures set during Copts' religious celebrations. The suicide bomber put on an explosive belt which blew up before he could reach the church.

A security source told Al-Watan newspaper that the arrested suspect provided the bomber with explosives, and he was present in the scene when the explosion took place.

The man reportedly tried to sneak into the church, during the celebrations. He then retracted from blowing himself at the very last minute and went away, according to media reports, due to the excessive presence of security forces in the area. Later, the belt exploded when he was atop the bridge of Mostorod. The suicide bomber was killed immediately, and no casualties were reported after the bombing.

Tight security measures have been in full swing around vital installations and worship places, especially during celebrations and religious occasions.

Virgin Mary Church in Qalubiya governorate is hosting celebrations of the birth of Virgin Mary from Aug. 7 to Aug. 21.

Earlier attacks on churches

On Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017, twin suicide bombings took place at Mar Girgis Church in Tanta and Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, the principal church in Alexandria and seat of the Coptic papacy.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack, which took the lives of 44 individuals and injured more than 100, Reuters reported.

On December 11, 2016, a bombing attack targeted Botroseya Church in Abbasiya during the Sunday mass, killing 30 people and injuring dozens others.

The bombing of the chapel, which is adjacent to Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral in Cairo, was also claimed by the (IS) terrorist group.
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