Attack on Egyptian church foiled, guards blow up terrorists' car

An attack on an Egyptian Coptic church has been foiled by security services outside the building.

The Mar Girgis (St George) church in El-Arish in the north-east of the country had previously been targeted in the wave of anti-Christian violence that hit churches in August 2013.

Mar Girgis Church in El-Arish was attacked by terrorists.World Watch Monitor

It has a heavy security presence including an armoured vehicle, according to Coptic news website Watani.

A group of around 15 militants had clashed with police earlier on the morning of October 16 and had assaulted the National Bank of Egypt, planting five bombs around the bank. They then attacked other security details around the city, leaving 17 people injured. Among their targets was the Mar Girgis church. However, the guards there were able to blow up the terrorists' car and the church itself suffered no damage.

The church was one of around 100 to be attacked by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in 2013. The government pledged funds for their repair, but the work on Mar Girgis has been delayed by security concerns, according to Watani.

Egypt has suffered increasingly from attacks by Islamist extremists, not only on its Christian minority but on its armed forces. Sixteen police officers were killed last week in an ambush in its western desert in an attack condemned by the Churches.