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Fire at Coptic church in Cairo kills 41, hurts 14

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CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Coptic Church says a fire at a Cairo church Sunday killed at least 41 people and injured at least 14 others.

The Church, citing health officials for the casualty toll, said the blaze ripped through the Abu Sefein church in densely populated neighborhood of Imbaba.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known. Police said an initial investigation blamed an electrical short-circuit.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. The following is AP’s previous story

A fire at a Coptic Christian church in the Egyptian capital on Sunday killed at least one person and injured 55 others, authorities said.

The blaze ripped through the church in Cairo’s densely populated neighborhood of Imbaba. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze. An initial investigation blamed an electric short-circuit, police said.

Fifteen firefighting vehicles were dispatched to the scene to put out the flames while ambulances ferried the casualties to nearby hospitals.

The Health Ministry said ambulances have transferred at least 55 injured to hospitals and ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghafar said at least one person was killed.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi spoke by phone with the Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II to offer his condolences, the president’s office said.

Copts comprise about 10% of Egypt’s primarily Muslim population.

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