Security forces shot dead an assailant who attacked an officer stationed at the Saint Fatima Church in Heliopolis on Wednesday morning, the Ministry of the Interior announcedon its official Facebook page.
The Ministry said the assailant, identified as 19-year-old Muslim Brotherhood member Ahmed al-Etreby, was shot dead by a security officer after he attacked an officer with a sharp object, injuring him below his ear.
Another attack on a police checkpoint in Monufiya last Wednesday was claimed by a group calling itself Lewa al-Thawra, announcing that it was in retaliation for “the regime’s massacres,” with particular reference to the bloody dispersal of the 2013 Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in. The group also demanded the release of political prisoners.
Attacks on security forces have increased nationwide since the state’s violent dispersal of sit-ins at Rabea al-Adaweya and Nahda squares in August 2013, following the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi by the military, amid mass protests against his presidency. The state has waged an ongoing crackdown on individuals and groups with affiliations or alleged affiliations to the Muslim Brotherhood since then, with thousands imprisoned.
The Egyptian government declared the Brotherhood an illegal organization a day after the 2013 bombing of a security directorate in Mansoura, despite Islamist group Ansar Beit al-Maqdes claiming responsibility for the attack.
The attempted attack on the church also comes amid a surge in sectarian violence and an onoing debate around a new church construction law. Government and church officials continue to hold meetings in attempts to finalise the legislative draft that is intended to ease the 100-year-old restrictions on building churches in Egypt.