Police bomb disposal expert dies trying to defuse bomb near church in Egypt
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Police bomb disposal expert dies trying to defuse bomb near church in Egypt

State-run television said the explosion took place in Nasr City, on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital, on Saturday, also leaving two other police officers tasked with securing the church as well as an onlooker wounded. The device had been placed inside a bag found and inspected by police on a nearby rooftop. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident, which occurred less than two days before Egypt’s minority Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas, on January 7. Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of some 100 million, have been targeted in a string of attacks by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in recent years. More than 100 Coptic Christians have been killed in terrorist attacks in Egypt since December 2016. In early November last year, Daesh militants opened fire on a bus transporting Coptic Christians in the North African country, leaving at least seven people dead. The terrorist outfit killed at least 45 people in twin church bombings in April 2017, and a Daesh gunman also killed nine people in an attack on a church in a southern Cairo suburb in December that year. Terrorists have been taking advantage of the turmoil in Egypt that erupted after the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted in a military coup in July 2013. The Velayat Sinai group, which is affiliated with Daesh, has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks. The Sinai Peninsula, which is where the Velayat Sinai group is holed up, has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, after a deadly terrorist attack that left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead.

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