Egyptian army renovates bombed Cairo church ahead of Coptic Christmas

Ahram Online , Saturday 31 Dec 2016

New Year
The restored Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (Photo: Courtesy of the Egyptian Armed Forces)

The Egyptian army has completed the renovation of a church in central Cairo that was the scene of a bomb attack that killed 27 people earlier in December, a military spokesman announced on Saturday.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered that St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church be renovated after the attack on 11 December, which was claimed by a local ISIS affiliate, before Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January.

"The Armed Forces Engineering Authority was able to restore the church’s destroyed areas while preserving the church's architectural heritage in 15 days to be ready to receive Christians for Christmas," read a military statement.

Twenty-four people were killed and 49 injured after a suicide bomber detonated their explosives inside the church on 11 December, one of the deadliest militant attacks on Egyptian Christians in recent years.

Three more people died of their injuries in the weeks following the attack.

The explosion caused severe damage to several parts of the church, which is attached to the Coptic Orthodox cathedral complex in central Cairo.

President El-Sisi named 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohamed Mostafa as the suicide bomber.

Four other people suspected of involvement have been arrested, including one woman.

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