New threads cast doubt on suicide-bombing scenario in Egypt church blast

Judicial sources said witnesses to the New Year’s Eve church bombing report having seen a person opening a manhole cover near the Church’s entrance only minutes before the devastating blast took place.

They suspected that the person seen opening the manhole had used it in some way to facilitate the explosion. Denials of local council officials that maintenance or other sewer operations took place that day lent credibility to witness suspicions.

Nevertheless, Attorney General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud requested Chief Coroner al-Sabaay Ahmed al-Sebaay to inspect the manhole once more. Given that the heavy lid flew a long distance during the explosion, prosecutors suspect that the bomb was hidden underneath. They believe a green Skoda car, which was originally suspected to have been booby trapped with explosive devices, was parked above the manhole by coincidence.

Sources did not confirm whether prosecutors have ruled out the possibility of a suicide bomb in light of the new reports.

The prosecution received al-Sabaay’s final report but is still awaiting a forensic report.

Prosecutors had taken the testimonies of 100 eyewitnesses to the blast, which killed 23 people and injured 97 others.

At the start of the investigation, The Egyptian Interior Ministry claimed it was a suicide attack. The coroner attached to the case, however, failed to identify the attacker.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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