Egypt police authorities identify Alexandria church suicide bomber
Egypt’s interior ministry said Mahmoud Hasan Mubarak Abdullah had carried out an IS-claimed attack that killed 17 people outside Saint Mark’s church in Alexandria on Palm Sunday.
The ministry said the suspected attacker was born in 1986 in the southern province of Qena and had lived in the province of Suez on the Red Sea.
Authorities determined the identity by comparing the DNA of remains found at the site of the bombing with the that of “runaway suspects”, the ministry said.
Abdullah, who had worked for an oil company, was linked to a “terrorist” network – a cell which carried out a previous bombing of a Cairo church in December that killed 29 people, the ministry said in a statement.
Security forces are “pursuing efforts” to identify a second attacker who targeted another church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta hours earlier on Palm Sunday, killing 28 worshippers.
Meanwhile the Islamic State group said in a statement circulated online, that two Egyptians known by the nom de guerres Abu Ishaq and Abu al-Baraa al-Masri were behind the attacks – the deadliest in recent memory to target Egypt’s Christian community.
Egypt’s Coptic Church announced on Wednesday that it would cut back Easter celebrations to a simple mass after the bombings.
On Tuesday, parliament unanimously approved a three-month state of emergency declared by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the aftermath of the attacks.