Jan 06, 2019 09:18 Asia/Tehran

An Egyptian explosives expert has been killed while defusing a bomb near a 'coptic' church in Cairo on Saturday.

Iran PressAfrica: An Egyptian police officer was killed on Saturday while attempting to defuse a bomb found near a church in an eastern Cairo suburb, state television reported, less than two days before Egypt’s Christians celebrate the 'Coptic Christmas', Reuters reported.

The device was one of two found inside a bag on a nearby rooftop, three security sources and state media reported.

Two policemen and an onlooker were also injured when the device exploded, the security sources said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Egyptian security forces have for years battled 'Takfiri Terrorists' groups who have attacked 'Coptic Christians' as well as foreign tourists and security personnel.

Egyptian security forces have stepped up their presence outside churches and other places of worship ahead of New Year’s Eve and Coptic Christmas, which is celebrated on Jan. 7.

Most Egyptian Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church and they have some very unique traditions for Christmas. Christmas Day is celebrated on 7 January like in Ethiopia and by some Orthodox Christians in Russia and Serbia. The Coptic month leading to Christmas is called Kiahk.

Authorities have placed armed guards outside churches and monasteries in an attempt to protect them from terrorist attacks.

In November, militants killed seven people returning from baptizing a child at a Coptic monastery about 260 km up the River Nile from Cairo.

Furthermore, over the past few years, terrorist groups have been carrying out anti-government activities and fatal attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil that erupted after the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in July 2013 through a military coup led by incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. 205/103

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