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41 dead in fire at Egyptian church west of Cairo

At least 41 people were killed and 14 others injured in a fire that erupted at an Egyptian church west of Cairo early Sunday, the Coptic Church said.

The fire broke out in Abu Sefein Church in the Greater Cairo district of Imbaba as a service was underway, the state news agency MENA reported.

The Coptic Church reported the death toll, citing Health Ministry officials.

The Interior Ministry said the blaze was caused by a short circuit.

Health Ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar said 30 ambulances were dispatched to the scene to transfer the victims to nearby hospitals.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi extended condolences during a phone call with Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Sisi said all state institutions are providing the required support to contain the effects of the tragic incident, his spokesman Bassam Rady said.

Coptic Christians make up around 15% of Egypt’s 100 million population, according to unofficial estimates.

In a statement on Sunday, Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed deep sorrow over the fire and expressed condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the incident, as well as brotherly people of Egypt and the Egyptian state.

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