The Latest: Egypt says church attack was a suicide bombing
CAIRO (AP) — The Latest on the church bombing in Egypt (all times local):
Egypt’s president says a suicide bomber caused the explosion that killed 24 Christians during Sunday Mass at a Cairo chapel.
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Monday identified the bomber as 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa.
He says three men and a woman have been arrested in connection with the attack at a chapel adjacent to Cairo’s St Mark’s Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The president spoke after Health Ministry officials revised down the number of victims to 24, suggesting that the 25th body belonged to the bomber.
Egyptians are holding prayers for 25 Christians killed the day before at a church next to the city’s main Coptic cathedral in what was one of the deadliest attacks on the religious minority in recent memory.
The bomb went off during Sunday Mass at a chapel adjacent to St. Mark’s Cathedral. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The coffins of the 25 have been laid in front of the altar on Monday, with the names of each victim displayed on the side facing the congregation.
Only victims’ relatives were allowed to attend the service. Some screamed out in grief, while the rest quietly sobbed or sat somberly as a priest led the service.
The worst previous attack against Christians was a 2011 bombing in Alexandria that killed 21.