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IS claims Egypt's deadly church blast

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-14 09:51

IS claims Egypt's deadly church blast

Egyptian Christians react during the funeral of victims killed in the bombing at Cairo's Coptic cathedral, at the Mokattam Cemetery in Cairo, Egypt December 12, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

CAIRO - The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for a recent deadly church blast in Cairo that killed at least 25, the militant group said in a statement circulated Tuesday on social media websites.

The blast took place on Sunday morning at Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church, known as al-Boutrosiya Church, which is adjacent to Saint Mark's Cathedrtal in Cairo's Abassiya neighborhood.

The IS statement said that a suicide bomber referred to as Abu Abdullah al-Masry carried out the attack with an explosive belt, killing and injuring 80.

During an official funeral on Monday, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi revealed that the attack was done by a 22-year-old suicide bomber named Mahmoud Shafiq.

The attack came a day after an Egyptian top court confirmed a death sentence against Adel Habbara, a militant Islamist extremist, over a 2013 anti-military attack that killed at least 25 soldiers in restive North Siani province.

Most of anti-government terror attacks that took place over the past three years were claimed by a Sinai-based group affiliated with the IS.

On Monday, a blast killed two military conscripts and injured three others in Sheikh Zuweid city of North Sinai, while on Friday, a bomb attack killed six policemen in Giza province near the capital Cairo.

Terror attacks have been growing in Egypt since the military removed former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his now-oulawed Muslim Brotherhood group.

Later security crackdown on Morsi's supporters left about 1,000 of them killed and thousands more arrested, while terrorist attacks killed several hundreds of police and military personnel.

A security campaign in Sinai killed over 1,200 militants and arrested a similar number of suspects over the past couple of years as part of the country's anti-terror war declared by former military chief and current President Sisi following Morsi's ouster.

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