Egypt police officer killed defusing bomb at Coptic church | News | DW | 06.01.2019
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Egypt police officer killed defusing bomb at Coptic church

A police officer was killed and two wounded in an explosion outside a Coptic church near Cairo. The attack comes less than two days before Egypt's Christians celebrate Coptic Christmas.

An Egyptian police officer has been killed attempting to defuse an improvised explosive device near a Coptic church on Saturday, a security source said.

The bomb had been placed inside a bag and put on a nearby roof in the western Cairo district of Ezzbet El-Hagana, Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper said.

Two other police officers and a bystander were injured when the device detonated, security sources added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Egyptian security forces have increased their presence around churches and monasteries around New Year's Eve and Coptic Christmas, which is celebrated on January 7, in a bid to prevent jihadist attacks.

Copts, who make up around 10 percent of the Egyptian population, have often been attacked by Islamist militants, who view them as infidels. The rise in attacks prompted authorities to place armed guards outside churches and monasteries.

Seven people returning from a baptism at a Coptic monastery about 260 kilometers (160 miles) up the River Nile from Cairo were killed in November by militants.

jlw/rc (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)