Wielding an iron bar in one hand and holding a Quran in the other, a Muslim extremist shouting “Allahu Akbar ... Death to the apostates,” broke into an eastern Cairo church in an early morning attack on Sunday 11 November.
The 22-year-old man assaulted staff preparing bread for a morning communion service. After injuring two people with his weapon, the attacker was overpowered by church members who restrained him until the police arrived.
According to media reports, the extremist remained remorseless even in police custody. “Give me your gun so I may kill them. If you don’t, you’d be an infidel like them,” he is said to have shouted at the officers. It has subsequently been claimed by relatives that he had problems with substance abuse.
In recent years, Egyptian churches have increasingly become a target for attacks. On Palm Sunday 2017, two suicide attacks on separate churches in Tanta and Alexandria claimed the lives of 50 people and injured a further 90.