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Egypt arrests 3 suspected of planning church attacks

Security forces take security measures at site after an explosion at Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt on December 11, 2016 [Ahmed Gamil / Anadolu Agency]
Security forces take security measures at site after an explosion at Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt on 11 December 2016 [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]

Egypt’s security forces announced yesterday that they have arrested three persons in the south of the country who are alleged to have formed a cell to target churches during the Coptic Church’s Easter celebrations, Erem News has reported.

Official sources said that the state police had arrested three Egyptian citizens at the Maragha Centre, located in Egypt’s southern province of Sohag. All three are accused of preparing terrorist attacks on churches.

The sources explained that police at a security checkpoint found a bag in the possession of one of the defendants which contained printed material detailing support for Daesh. During the investigation, one of the suspects confessed to the charge of forming a cell with some of his friends to target churches during the Easter celebration. Two of the defendant’s associates were arrested and also referred to the public prosecutor for investigation.

There are 2,626 churches across Egypt under the protection of the state police. Last April, nearly 40 Christians were killed and 100 others were wounded in two suicide bombings, one at the Coptic Church of St George (Mari Girgis) in Tanta and the other at a Coptic Church in Alexandria, during Palm Sunday services.

Read: Christians in shock after deadly attack on Coptic Church in Egypt

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