Egypt ‘militant attack’ targets church on Easter

The Islamist militants were also behind a bomb explosion on a bridge leading to the upscale Cairo district of Zamalek

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Islamist militants hit Egypt’s two largest cities on Sunday with a bombing in Cairo and an attack on a church in Alexandria, leaving one policeman dead and seven people wounded, security sources said, according to Reuters news agency.

The first incident happened when a bomb exploded on a bridge leading to the upscale Cairo district of Zamalek, which hosts many embassies, killing one policeman, the interior ministry said. Two more officers and a civilian were injured.

Sunday’s bombing was claimed on Twitter by Ajnad Misr, a militant group that emerged in January 2014 and has targeted security forces in and around Cairo.

"God has enabled our brave soldiers to plant an IED where the criminal (security) services were gathered on the bridge," Ajnad Misr’s media wing said.

The second attack occurred in Alexandria when militants in a micro bus shot at the Church of the Angel Rafael, wounding one police officer and three civilians before fleeing, security sources said. The attack came as Coptic worshipers marked Easter.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry said said that security forces have killed the founder and leader of Ajnad Misr.

Hammam Mohamed Ahmed Attia of Ajnad Misr was shot dead during a clash around 1 a.m. (2300 GMT) at an apartment in Giza, a suburb of the capital, the security sources said.

Egypt is facing an insurgency based in North Sinai that has killed hundreds of soldiers and police since the army toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Most militant attacks have taken place in the Sinai Peninsula, a remote but strategic region bordering Gaza, Israel and the Suez Canal. Smaller-scale bombings have become increasingly common in Cairo and other cities.

[With Reuters]

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