Egypt arrests church bombings suspect

Cairo – Egyptian police on Tuesday arrested a man wanted for alleged involvement in twin church bombings this month claimed by the Islamic State group, an official said.

Acting on a tip-off, police arrested Ali Mahmoud Mohamed Hassan, one of 19 suspects whose names police made public after the Palm Sunday explosions, the official said.

Two suicide bombers attacked two churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria on April 9, killing 45 people in the deadliest attack on Coptic Christians in recent memory.

Hassan was arrested in the southern province of Qena, from where the two suicide bombers also came.

More attacks threatened

The interior ministry had raised a reward for information leading to the suspects’ arrests to about $27 518.

The Palm Sunday bombings followed an earlier attack by a suicide bomber who detonated his explosives in a packed Cairo church in December, killing 29 people.

The Islamic State group, which claimed all three bombings, has threatened more attacks on the minority, which makes up about 10% of Egypt’s 90 million people.

The attacks, weeks before a planned visit by Pope Francis, prompted the government to declare a three-month state of emergency.

AFP

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