Egypt cop killed in bid to defuse bomb

A policeman was killed while trying to dismantle an explosive device outside a Coptic church in Egypt on Saturday, a security source said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Monday, January 07, 2019

A policeman was killed while trying to dismantle an explosive device outside a Coptic church in Egypt on Saturday, a security source said.

Two other officers were also wounded in the explosion as security personnel attempted to defuse the device in Nasr City on the edge of Cairo, the source added.

It had been hidden inside a bag searched by police. The policeman who was killed, Mustafa Abid, was a specialist in mine clearance.

Coptic Christians, who account for about 10 percent of Egypt's population, have been targeted in attacks by the Islamic State group in recent years.

The latest attack comes ahead of Christmas mass when President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is due to inaugurate the Cathedral of Nativity in Egypt's New Administrative Capital.

Security has been bolstered in the capital in recent weeks ahead of Christmas, which Egypt's minority Coptic Christians celebrate today. The country's leader since 2014, Sisi often presents himself as a defender of Christians against extremists.

But activists and some analysts accuse the state of discriminating against them and not providing enough protection.

Over 100 Copts have been killed in jihadist attacks since December 2016.

IS claimed an assault in early November which killed six Copts and one Anglican in Minya.