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Egypt Blames Al-Qaeda-Linked Group For New Year's Day Church Bombing


Christians hold a blood-stained portrait of Jesus Christ during a protest in Alexandria on January 2.

Christians hold a blood-stained portrait of Jesus Christ during a protest in Alexandria on January 2.

Egypt's Interior Ministry says it has proof that an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group was responsible for the New Year's Day bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria that killed 23 people.

In a speech broadcast on state television to mark Police Day, Interior Minister Habib el-Adli said the Army of Islam, a Palestinian group with ties to Al-Qaeda, was behind the bombing that also wounded more than 100 people.

Adli said "we have decisive proof of their [Army of Islam] heinous involvement in planning and carrying out such a villainous terrorist attack."

The Al-Arabiyah news channel reported later that the Army of Islam was denying any role in the Coptic church bombing.

The Army of Islam, reportedly based in Gaza, is suspected of involvement in a cross-border attack in 2006 in which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted.

compiled from agency reports
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