Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Turkish troops to go further into Syria, says foreign minister

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

middle east - do not use

Palestinian group denies role in church attack on New Year's Day

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-24

The Palestinian Army of Islam militant group has denied responsibility for a New Year's Day attack on a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria that killed more than 20 people, rejecting claims made by the government in Cairo earlier on Sunday.

AFP - The Palestinian Army of Islam militant group on Sunday denied involvement in a deadly attack on an Egyptian church, rejecting accusations by the Cairo government.
              
"The Army of Islam has no relation, whether close or distant, to the attack on the Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt," a spokesman for the group, who gave his name as Abu Muthanna, told AFP.
              
"The Mossad (Israeli intelligence) was responsible for the attack," he said.
              
Earlier Sunday, Egypt's Interior Minister Habib al-Adly announced that the small Palestinian group was behind the New Year's church attack in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, which killed more than 20 people.
              
He made the accusation in a speech to mark Police Day, carried live on Egyptian state television.
              
President Hosni Mubarak took to the stage to congratulate the police "for finding the perpetrators of the terrorist act in Alexandria."
              
On January 1, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a church in the Mediterranean city as worshippers emerged from a New Year's Eve mass.
              
Egypt's official MENA news agency on Sunday put the death toll at 23, with scores more wounded. Previously, the death toll stood at 21.
              
The Palestinian group accused of perpetrating the attack is a small outfit that espouses Salafist ideals, an austere form of Sunni Islam that seeks a return to the practices of the faith's early days.
              
Along with other tiny Salafist factions in Gaza, the Army of Islam is believed to have sought or be seeking ties with Al-Qaeda, and has clashed with the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip.
              
Hamas reportedly cut ties with the Army of Islam in 2007, when the group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of BBC reporter Alan Johnston.
              
At the time, Hamas said it had severed ties with the group and helped free Johnston after four months in captivity.

 

Date created : 2011-01-23

  • EGYPT

    Police probe local Islamists over New Year church blast

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Coptic mourners clash with police after church bombing

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Deadly blast hits Coptic church in Alexandria

    Read more

COMMENT(S)