Egyptian President says church blast committed by suicide bomber

Cairo, Dec 12 (IANS) Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday that the Cairo church blast that killed 25 persons on Sunday was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Speaking to mourners during the funeral of those killed, Sisi said that a 22-year-old man called Mahmoud Shafiq blew himself up inside Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church in Cairo’s Abassiya neighbourhood, Xinhua news agency reported.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack that also left 49 others injured.

The bombing came one day after a top Egyptian court confirmed a death sentence on leading Islamist extremist Adel Habbara for an anti-military attack.

Sisi also revealed that four people, including a woman, have been arrested in connection with the attack and that security forces are searching for two more suspects.

“We will avenge this church blast. The attack is a sign of terrorists’ frustration,” Sisi said.

In 2013, angry Islamist protesters attacked a number of churches and homes of Coptic Christians across the North African country for their support to the military’s removal of then Islamist Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.