A policeman in Egypt was killed late Saturday while trying to diffuse a bomb near a Cairo church, officials reportedly said. Egypt’s Interior Ministry announced that the explosion also injured the bomb squad’s commander as well as another policeman, according to the Associated Press. The explosive was in a suitcase and hidden on top of a roof near the church, which is located in eastern Cairo’s Nasr City suburb. The explosion took place only two days before the Orthodox Coptic Church, to which many of Egypt’s 10 million Christians belong, celebrates Christmas. A roadside bomb struck a tourist bus near the Giza pyramids slightly more than one week ago, killing four. Authorities are poised to ramp up security around churches prior to the holiday. Armed police officers presently guard churches, while security guards verify the identity of visitors. Metal detectors have also been placed outside of churches, the AP notes. The increased security comes in the wake of attacks claimed by ISIS over the past several years which have targeted houses of worship and buses shuttling pilgrims to remote monasteries. These attacks have killed more than 100 Christians, the AP said.
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