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HRW: Insufficient church security in spite of threats in Egypt

Image of Egyptian police [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Egyptian police [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Two parishioners and a pastor at St. George’s Church in Tanta, one of the churches struck by a terror attack on Palm Sunday in Egypt, have told Human Rights Watch (HRW) that police protection at the gate was inadequate and may have allowed the bomber to enter.

The eyewitnesses said that police had not taken serious steps to secure the church even though they had defused an explosive device near the church 11 days earlier, HRW said.

Read: Pope condemns terrorism and Egypt blast

In Tanta a man wearing concealed explosives passed through a security check at St. George’s Church before detonating his suicide bomb near the pews at the front. At least 28 people died and 77 were wounded.

In Alexandria a man tried to pass through a metal detector guarded by officers but he was stopped and so detonated his explosives killing 17 and wounding 48.

Despite the fact that Christians are the target of a number of attacks as well as legal and social discrimination, HRW has documented how interior ministry officials and prosecutors do not conduct proper investigations or hold to account those responsible for sectarian attacks.

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