Suicide bomber kills himself while trying to attack a church

Suicide bomber kills himself while trying to attack a church

A suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt attempted to attack a Coptic Christian church north of Cairo, Egypt, but failed to enter before blowing himself up.

The Egyptian security forces foiled the suicide bombing attack at a Christian church outside Cairo on Saturday, state media reported.

The man tried to enter the church in Mostorod district in Qaliubiya province with churchgoers but heightened security around the church prevented him gaining access to the church, the officials said.

Local media reported that he detonated the explosives about 250 meters from the church, killing himself. No other fatalities were reported.

The attempted bombing targeted worshipers gathered to celebrate the annual Assumption of the Virgin Mary. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Egyptian Copts, which make about 10% of the Egyptian population, are the largest Christian community in the Middle East and have long been the target of violent attacks.

In 2017, Egypt declared a state of emergency after ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings at two Coptic churches, which killed at least 45 peoples.

Copts also face routine discrimination in the Muslim-majority country despite the Egyptian constitution’s guaranteed “absolute” freedom of religion.

The religious minority also struggles for greater representation in the Egyptian government.