Egypt: At least 41 dead in church fire, security sources say

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CAIRO (Reuters) – At least 41 people were killed and 45 injured in a fire inside a church in the Egyptian city of Giza on Sunday, two security sources told Reuters.

A fire of electrical origin broke out before 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) during mass, when 5,000 people gathered in the Abu Sifin Coptic church in the Imbaba district, the same sources said.

The fire blocked an entrance to the church, causing a stampede, they added, adding that most of those killed were children.

“People were gathering on the third and fourth floors, and we saw smoke coming from the second floor. They rushed down the stairs and started falling on top of each other,” said Yasir Munir, a worshiper. from the church.

“Then we heard a bang and there were sparks and fire coming out of the window,” he added, adding that he and his daughter were on the ground floor and had been able to get away. escape.

Giza, second city of Egypt, is on a bank of the Nile, in front of Cairo.

“I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the innocent victims who left to join their Lord in one of his places of worship,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a tweet.

(Report Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, written by Nafisa Eltahir, French version Jean-Michel Bélot)

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