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Apr. 19, 2017
   

Sinai: Isis commando kills policeman near the monastery of St. Catherine

Cairo  - Gunmen yesterday attacked a Egyptian security forces check point near the monastery of St. Catherine, in the South Sinai area, killing at least one policeman and wounding four more.

The Cairo Ministry of Health, confirmed the latest attack near a place of Christian worship, some ten days after the attacks of April 9, the churches of Tanta and Alessandria. In the attacks in the Coptic community, claimed by the militias of the Islamic State (IS), 45 people died, over a hundred were injured.

IS jihadi militias have also claimed the latter attack, which involved a checkpoint about 800 meters from the entrance of the monastery. It is one of the most important holy places for Christianity in Egypt. An incident that comes just 10 days before the visit of Pope Francis to Egypt.

The St. Catherine monastery, founded in the sixth century and located at the foot of Mount Sinai, is one of the oldest Christian places of worship in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site, as one of the most popular religious destinations for tourism. It belongs to the Eastern Orthodox Church. The attack once more confirms the escalation of violence against the Christian minority in Egypt, about 10% of the total population, despite the attempts of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (a former army general) to ensure security in Country.

Local security sources reported that the alert is maximum levels around all the most important religious and tourist sites of the country, particularly in resort overlooking the Red Sea, because of the risk of further violence.

Also yesterday, police arrested a man on suspicion of involvement in attacks on churches on Palm Sunday. The man's name is Ali Mahmoud Mohamed Hassan and is one of the 19 people identified by investigators for having participated - for various reasons - in the attacks. He was identified and arrested in the southern province of Qena, the same area of origin of the two suicide bombers who blew themselves up in Tanta and Alexandria.

 

Agencies