Egyptian police officer killed defusing church bomb in Cairo
An Egyptian police officer was killed and another injured on Saturday while trying to defuse a bomb in a church in Cairo, state-run MENA news agency reported.
The incident happened two days ahead of Coptic Christmas which is observed by Coptic Egyptians.
Minarets of a mosque and a cross on top of a church are seen during cold weather before Sunday's Coptic Christmas Eve Mass in Cairo, Egypt January 5, 2019. [File photo: VCG]
The bomb went off in the vicinity of St. Mary and Abu Sefein Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo's district of Nasr City, while the officers were examining a bag containing the bomb.
No groups claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Copts, who make up 10 percent of Egypt's 100 million population, celebrate their Christmas on Jan. 7.
Egypt's armed forces, in coordination with the Ministry of Interior, have intensified measures to ensure the security at Christmas nationwide.
Egypt has been fighting against a wave of terror activities that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group.
Terror attacks in Egypt had mainly targeted police and military personnel in North Sinai before spreading nationwide and targeting the Coptic Christian minority.
Terrorists attacked two Coptic churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria in early April last year, killing 47 people and wounding 106 others.
Most of the attacks were claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the Islamic State extremist group.