GAZA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- A source from the Gaza-based Army of Islam group on Sunday denied Egyptian official's accusation that it was behind the deadly blast at a church in Alexandria on the New Year's Eve.
The accusation, made by Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adly on Sunday, "is false and the Army has no relation to the explosion" which killed more than 20 people outside the al- Qiddissin church in the Egyptian Mediterranean city.
The source added that the leaders of the pro-al-Qaeda group will issue an official statement later on the day.
A suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Coptic church when worshippers were ending a New Year's mass. Dozens were also wounded.
The Army of Islam has first appeared in 2006, when it joined Islamic Hamas movement in capturing an Israeli soldier near the Gaza Strip. A year later, Hamas took over Gaza by force and its ties with the Army of Islam sagged due to security, religious and ideological differences.
The group was also behind the kidnapping of Alan Johnston, a BBC reporter in Gaza, in 2007.
Palestinian group behind Alexandria church bombing: Egyptian Minister
CAIRO, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al- Adly said on Sunday the government had revealed that a Palestinian group linked to al-Qaida was behind the bombing of a church in Alexandria that killed more than 21 people on New Year's Eve.
In a televised address celebrating the National Police Day, Al- Adly named the group as the Army of Islam, a radical Islamic Palestinian terrorist group based in the Gaza Strip. Full story