Egyptian security forces in the western province of Gharbia dismantled a bomb outside the Mary Girgis church in Tanta last week. Three days later, a group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood bombed a police training camp in the same city, killing one and injured 16.

It was in Tanta, Egypt’s fifth largest populated area located between Cairo and Alexandria, where in July last year a pharmacist was stabbed to death and his throat was slit.

The defusal of the bomb followed a bomb attack on a Coptic church in Cairo in December last year, which killed 28 Mass-goers; there was sharp criticism of Egypt’s president Al Sisi. Angry Copts protested and some called for his resignation. They feel that the state fails to protect them from sectarian violence, and from Islamic extremists.

In February the Islamic State released a video, vowing to wipe out out Egypt’s Coptic Christians and “liberate Cairo”. The video also purports to show the last statement of the suicide bomber responsible for the attack on the Cairo church.

Egypt’s Christians have seen an increase in violent attacks under President Al-Sisi’s government. Its Copts account for approximately 10% of the population. Although they initially seemed to support his government, since he came into power their lives and that of other minority groups have become more difficult with growing economic problems.

Copts say that since 2013, rising Muslim conservatism and a general instability is emboldening attacks against them, and many have fled the country.

An attack on a 70-year old Christian woman who was stripped naked caused a national outcry. However, in January, charges were initially dropped against three suspects; then, after widespread protests, the charges were reinstated. 

Speaking to reporters after his meeting yesterday with President Al Sisi in Washington, US President Trump said he strongly backed Al Sisi’s leadership and that they would work together to fight against “terrorism”: “I just want to let everybody know that we are very much behind President Sisi; he has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation.”

Watch here how Egyptian security forces dismantle the bomb near the Mary Girgis church in Tanta:

لحظة أستخراج قنبلة كنيسة مارجرجس بـ طنطا

بالفيديو .. لحظة أستخراج قنبلة كنيسة مارجرجس بـ طنطا اليوم 2017/3/29

Posted by ‎أنا مضطهد لأنى قبطى‎ on Wednesday, March 29, 2017