January 24, 2011 / 5:40 PM / 8 years ago

Egypt bans media reporting of church bomb probe

Egypt's Muslims and Christians, activists, politicians and intellectuals demonstrate in the capital Cairo January 7, 2011, to condemn the New Year's day attack on a Coptic church that killed up to 23 people in the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s general prosecutor on Monday banned media reporting of the investigation into a deadly New Year’s Day church bombing, saying any revelations could hinder the work of investigators.

Twenty-three people were killed and 97 wounded in the blast outside the church in Alexandria, which prompted protests by Christians that the state had not done enough to protect them.

The ban is to “ensure the investigation procedures are not revealed and to protect the evidence from getting affected by what could be published in different media outlets”, General Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud said in a statement.

The ban comes a day after Egypt’s government accused a Palestinian militant group, the Army of Islam, of carrying out the bombing with the help of a local accomplice.

A spokesman for the Army of Islam, which considers al Qaeda’s leaders as spiritual mentors, said it had no connection to the Alexandria attack, although it praised those who carried it out.

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