A police officer was killed and three others were wounded when a bomb, found near a church in Nasr City (Cairo province), detonated on Saturday, January 5. The police officer was reportedly attempting to defuse the bomb before it exploded. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the incident.
A heightened security presence has been deployed near Egyptian churches and other places of worship ahead of Coptic Christmas (January 7). Fixed and mobile security checkpoints will also be deployed throughout the country.
The Coptic Christian community in Egypt has been targeted in several militant attacks in recent years. On November 2, Islamic State (IS) militants attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians back to Sohag province from the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor (Minya province), killing seven people. In 2017, IS also claimed attacks targeting churches in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday (April 9) and on a bus traveling to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor (May 26).
Due to the prevailing threat of terrorism, individuals throughout Egypt should report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities and always be on guard when visiting sites deemed particularly vulnerable to an attack (e.g. public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.).
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