A suspect in plotting Tanta church suicide bombing turns himself in to Egyptian authorities

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Apr 2017

Coptic church Tanta
Relatives of victims react in front of a Coptic church that was bombed on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt, April 9, 2017. (Reuters)

A man suspected of involvement in the planning of the suicide bombing of St George Cathedral in Tanta on 9 April which killed 29 people has turned himself in to a prosecutor’s office in Upper Egypt's Qena governorate, Al-Ahram Arabic website reported Wednesday.

Mahmoud Mohamed Ali Hussein, who holds a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Science, has been transferred to the National Security Agency headquarters for questioning.

On Monday, the interior ministry published a statement naming Hussein as one of 19 suspects in the plotting of the two Palm Sunday suicide bombings in the Tanta church and Alexandria’s St Mark’s cathedral.

Last week, the Ministry of Interior identified in a statement Mohamed Baghdadi as the suicide bomber responsible for the attack in Tanta.

The ministry said that Baghdadi, who hailed from Upper Egypt’s Qena, was identified through CCTV footage and DNA testing.

Most of the suspects in the two deadly bombing operations, which killed 47 people and injured dozens more, hail from Qena governorate.

The ministry has offered a reward of EGP 500,000 for information on the suspects.

On Sunday, the interior ministry said it arrested 13 members of a terrorist cell that was plotting attacks against churches in Egypt. The suspects were arrested in the governorates of Alexandria, Damietta and Kafr El-Sheikh.

The Palm Sunday bombings were the deadliest terrorist attacks against Christians in Egypt's recent memory.

Two days after the attacks, the government declared a three-month nationwide state of emergency.

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