- 3 policemen and 3 civilians were killed, and 17 injured during the clashes
An attack on a Coptic church in north-eastern Egypt has been repelled by state security forces stationed outside the building.
The heavy security presence outside the Mar Girgis (St. George) church in El-Arish, which had the use of an armoured vehicle, helped blow up the attackers’ car. The church building was not damaged.
The group of about 15 terrorists had clashed with police during a series of attacks throughout the morning of 16 October, a security source told Coptic news site Watani, culminating with an assault on the National Bank of Egypt.
The attackers, who had been driving around in a green pick-up truck shouting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest) planted five bombs around the bank. Three policemen and three civilians were killed, and 17 injured during the clashes, though there is no report of the bombs being detonated.
Mar Girgis was one of many churches attacked during a wave of anti-Christian violence on 14 August 2013 after the military used force to break up camps of protesters – including many supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood – who demanded the reinstatement of former president Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt’s armed forces promised to restore and rebuild churches damaged in the aftermath of the violence, but Mar Girgis – which was burned and looted – is taking longer than anticipated to rebuild, partly due to other security incidents.