The Interior Ministry reveals the name of attacker, discovered through DNA. Mahmoud Abdallah Hasan Mubarak, already known to the authorities and on a list of "suspects on the run". Continuing investigations to identify even the suicide bomber in Tanta. Coptic Orthodox, Catholics and Anglicans celebrate low key Easter in sign of mourning for the victims.
Cairo (AsiaNews) - The Egyptian Ministry of the Interior has identified one of the suicide bombers who April 9 last struck the church of Tanta and Alessandria,causing 45 dead and over a hundred injured; the explosions were claimed by the Islamic State (IS), who also announced further violence against the Christian community.
In particular, the authorities have revealed the name of the aggressor that struck in Alexandria and assured "further efforts" to trace the suicide bomber who blew himself up in Tanta, during the celebration of Palm Sunday.
Ministry sources say that " tests carried out on the remains of the DNA [of the corpse] recovered on site" show that the author of the massacre at St. Mark's Church, in Alexandria, was Mahmoud Abdallah Hasan Mubarak. "He was born in 1986 in Qena, in the south, - says the source - and lived in the Suez province."
The identification would take place by comparing the DNA found at the scene with those of a list "of suspects on the run".
The alleged bomber was working for an oil company and was linked to a "terrorist network" attack against the Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in Abassiya in Cairo last December. "The security services - concludes the ministerial source - continue their efforts to identify the suicide bomber who carried out the attack on the church of St. George in Tanta".
Meanwhile, the Christian community in Egypt, under a three month a state of emergency in accordance with provisions of President al-Sisi in response to the attacks, is preparing to celebrate a low key Easter in sign of mourning for the victims. Yesterday the Coptic Orthodox Church announced that there will only be celebrations on Easter Sunday, while all other rites will be cancelled. Similarly the Catholics and Anglicans have called off the Easter Vigil on Saturday night.
The Christian leaders explain that "considering the situation" all the festivities "were cancelled, with the exception of one celebration" of the Easter Mass. Easter will also be dedicated to the memory and prayer for the victims of the attacks. The traditional delivery of sweets to the children by the Copt Patriarch Tawadros II has also been cancelled.
As anticipated to AsiaNews by Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, the attacks have cast "a shadow" on Easter and stolen "the joy of the feast." However, Pope Francis has confirmed his visit later this month, hoping it will restore confidence and calm to the affected communities who fear "new attacks” in the future .
Gunmen attacked a checkpoint a few hundred meters from the place of worship. It is one of the most important Christian buildings Egypt. An agent killed and four others wounded. Man arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attacks on the churches on Palm Sunday.
The toll is of 43 dead and 114 wounded in the two attacks. A lot of the faithful want to bury the dead in the church's crypt. Daesh claims the attacks. The Muslim Brotherhood is complicit. President Al-Sisi declares a three-month state of emergency
Father Rafic Greiche emphasizes that terrorists "are stealing the joy of the feast." In spite of a climate of fear, yesterday churches across the country were packed with faithful. The government has declared a state of emergency. Need to strengthen intelligence work. He adds: Hard to know when, but "there will be more attacks."
Fr Rafic Greiche describes the situation in the country as "calm". Christians "are not intimidated" and flock to church. Liturgical services continue, but other events have been cancelled. The victims are remembered. Western Christians are asked to visit as pilgrims and tourists. The attacker in Tanta has been identified. Al-Sisi reiterates commitment to the anti-terror struggle.
Anba Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak describes his joy for Pope Francis’s visit and his uneasiness towards his country, hit by terrorism. He talks about the fraternal relations with Tawadros II and those with Al Azhar and President el-Sisi, as well as the renewal of the Church with new bodies, social tasks, and enhanced role for the lay men and women.