Egypt recently declared a state of emergency prior to a visit by Pope Francis in the wake of attacks conducted against churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria. The incident took place at the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St.Catherine, a site of pilgrimage for christianity.
The Islamic State extremist group has claimed responsibility for an attack on an Egyptian police checkpoint near the famed Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai late Tuesday which authorities said killed one policeman and wounded four. The body of the policeman who was killed was transferred to St. Catherine hospital.
Egypt is battling an Islamist insurgency in the rugged and thinly populated northern Sinai, which gained pace after the military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.
An Ethiopian Coptic Christian woman arrives for the Easter Eve service at St Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, last week.
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Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint several hundred metres (yards) from the church entrance.
IS claimed responsibility for the attack shortly after.
The attack and the church bombings threaten to deal a blow to Egypt's struggling tourism industry, which has suffered from political instability and a fragile security situation since the 2011 uprising.
Khalid Abu Hashem, the health ministry official for South Sinai province, told state television that one person had been killed and four wounded.