Vigil to mourn victims of Cairo church bombing
A vigil takes place in Cairo to remember those who lost their lives in a bombing at the city’s largest Coptic cathedral last Sunday (December 11).
Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a suicide bombing that killed at least 25 people.
The militant group said in a statement carried by its news agency Amaq that a suicide bomber whom it identified as Abu Abdallah al-Masri had detonated his explosive belt inside the church.
“Every infidel and apostate in Egypt and everywhere should know that our war … continues,” it said.
The Interior Ministry identified the bomber on Monday as 22-year-old student Mahmoud Shafik Mohammed Mostafa, and said he was a supporter of the banned Muslim Brotherhood political movement who had joined a militant cell while on the run from police.
In an interview with Reuters, Mostafa’s mother said he had been sexually abused in police custody in 2014, but that she had seen no sign that he had been radicalised.
In addition to the dead, at least 49 people were wounded when the bomb went off in a chapel adjoining St Mark’s Cathedral, Cairo’s largest church and seat of the Coptic Christian papacy.