January 05, 2011 (KATAKAMI / PRESSTV.IR) — The bomber who attacked a Coptic church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria probably intended to detonate his bomb inside the building to kill as many people as possible, the police say.
Egyptian investigators issued a report on Monday saying police guards had prevented the attacker, who set off his explosives outside the church on New Year’s Eve, from entering the house of worship, AFP reported.
The most helpful clue the police have found at the scene is an amputated head, which is believed to belong to the attacker. They hope to identify the bomber if surgeons succeed in reconstructing the head’s features.
The attack spawned three days of protests by Christians involving clashes with security forces. The protesters have blamed the government for not doing enough to provide security for the minority, which accounts for 10 percent of the country’s 80 million people.
Reports say more threats have been issued against Coptic churches in Egypt and Europe on several websites.
Police in France, Germany, Australia, and Britain say they are boosting security measures to address any possible threat.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which killed 21 people and injured over 80 others.
On Saturday, President Hosni Mubarak blamed “foreign hands” for the deadly attack and promised to stand up to terrorists. He also urged Muslims and Christians to maintain solidarity.
Egyptian police say they have detained 17 people in connection with the attack.
Earlier, Pope Benedict XVI called on the leaders of nations to protect Christians.
However, the Pope’s remarks were severely criticized by Egypt’s top Muslim cleric, Ahmed al-Tayeb, as “unacceptable interference in Egypt’s internal affairs.” (*)