Wednesday, 26 April, 2017

Gunmen kill policeman in attack near Egypt's St. Catherine's Monastery

Egypt attack kills policeman, injures 4 others Egypt policeman dies in gunmen attack near Sinai monastery
Christy Curtis | 21 April, 2017, 04:36

The Islamic State continued its assault on Egypt's Christian minority on Tuesday when a police checkpoint near St. Catherine's monastery in the southern Sinai Peninsula came under gunfire.

According to SITE Intelligence Group, which keeps track of the online activity of militants, announced the attack through the ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency.

It is part of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The attack, which also injured four people, comes just 10 days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt.

On April 9, at least 17 people were killed and more than 40 injured after a bomb targeted a church in Alexandria.

Daesh has been waging a deadly insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula and has claimed scores of attacks on security forces there.

USA terrorist-tracking organisation SITE reports said on its website: "The Islamic State's (IS) 'Amaq News Agency reported that the group is responsible for the attack near St. Catherine's Monastery in south Sinai".

The monastery lies at the foot of Mount Sinai, famous as the spot where Moses received the Ten Commandments. The attack on St. Catherine's Monastery comes as a fresh challenge to President Sisi, who had vowed to protect the minority community during his campaign against extremism.

The terror group has warned that there will be more attacks against Egypt's Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the country's population of over 90 million people. It's the first time in Egypt that ISIS has struck a monastery, although the terrorist group has carried out several attacks against the country's religious minorities.

Egypt's army and police security forces have been caught in a crossfire with terrorists in North Sinai since 2013, after the Armed Forces had ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Egyptian Coptic Christians prepare to pray during the Easter Eve service at St Mark's Cathedral in Cairo after an attack on the church on Palm Sunday.

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