Six people were arrested on Saturday for planning to carry out terrorist attack on a Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The statement said that one of the attackers was planning to detonate an explosive vest inside the church and another to blow himself up when police arrived to the scene.
According to the ministry, the attacks were set to take place during Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.
The statement added that security forces have been investigating the information they gathered, to develop an integrated plan, to chase the cell using all modern technological means, which resulted in confirming their involvement in a conspiracy to blow up a shop owned by a Christian in Damietta province back in April.
The detainees said the aim of these operations was to turn the Copts against the Egyptian government, divide the society’s national fabric, incite strife and spread panic.
“The cell was traced in an apartment in El Awayed neighborhood in Alexandria where they were planning their attacks. The apartment was raided and six, including the two bombers, were arrested.”
Two suicide belts and six detonators were also seized.
Attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians have become increasingly common since the toppling of the country’s long-time leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011, prompting a mass exodus of Christians from some rural towns.
In May, gunmen attacked a bus of Christians heading for a monastery in Central Egypt, killing at least 29 worshipers, according to media reports.
Earlier, two suicide bombings at Palm Sunday services in April killed at least 46 people in the northern cities of Alexandria and Tanta.