Live Update: Palm Sunday attacks



Sun, 09 Apr 2017 - 11:36 GMT


Sun, 09 Apr 2017 - 11:36 GMT

Mar Girgis Church bombing in Tanta - Screenshot from ON TV Channel

Mar Girgis Church bombing in Tanta - Screenshot from ON TV Channel

CAIRO - 9 April 2017: Two deadly explosions hit two Coptic churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday, leaving at least 40 killed and dozens injured.

The Islamic State (IS), on Sunday, claimed responsibility of the two attacks that struck Mar Girgis Church in Tanta City, north of Cairo, and Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Videos were released of the two attacks showing the moment of the blasts going off.

Later, security measures were beefed up around churches across the country on the first day of the Holy Week. President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ordered immediate deployment of military forces to aid local police in securing vital buildings and facilities.

This is a live update compiled by Egypt Today on both bombing:

23:00 - American President Donald Trump called Sisi to assert the U.S.'s condemnation of the attack and its support to Egypt and its people.

21:08 - President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declares the state of emergency for three months

21:00 - Funeral prayers for Mar Girgis bombing's victims begin.

20:55 - The Islamic State (IS), "Known in Arabic as Daesh," names the two suicide bombers behind the terror attacks.

20:40 - Morroco expressed its full solidarty with Egypt in the face of "ugly" terrorism

20:06 - Algeria strongly condemned today's deadly attacks, CBC extra news reported.

19:50 - National Security Council meeting headed by President Sisi convened

19:36 - Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek issued a statement, explaining the details of the public prosecution’s measures regarding the explosions.

18:30 – World leaders expressed their condemnation of dual bombing attacks at Egyptian churches Sunday, leaving at least 40 killed and dozens injured. The U.S. Donald Trump was latest to show his solidarity with the Egyptian people after the terrorist attacks, saying: “I have great confidence that President Al-Sisi will handle situation properly.”

Following the attacks, a number of states issued statements ensuring their support to Egypt’s fight against terrorism, including Saudi King Salman Bin Abdel Aziz, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Jordanian King Abdullah II.

International embassies in Egypt also offered their condolences to the families of the victims.

18:11 - Al-Sisi entrusts the military forces with aiding civil police forces to secure all the vital headquarters across the governorates.

17:29 - The Cairo Opera House has cancelled all its activities as it declared three days of mourning after the deadly attacks. Activities will be resumed on Wednesday.

17:19 - Minister of Health arrives in Alexandria to check on the victims.

17:00 - Government declares three days of mourning for the victims of bombing attacks at Alexandria and Tanta churches.

16:51 – Recent CCTV footage showed minutes before explosion took place outside Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. The video showed an explosion after a man, believed to be a suicide bomber, was prevented from entering the church by security personnel.

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16:27 – Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar headed Sunday to the site of Saint George’s Coptic Church in Tanta, where a bombing attack killed at least 30 people. Minister Ghaffar said: “terrorism will not undermine Egypt’s will…to build Egypt’s promising future.”

15:30 – Social media activists circulated photos of Brigadier Najwa el-Hajjar and Major Emad el-Rikaby, who were announced dead in the bombing that hit Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria.

Photo of Brigadier Najwa el-Hajjar (R)

15:10 – Egypt’s parliament mourned victims of bombing attacks targeted two churches in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday, labeled them as big conspiracy against the country.

16:00 16 killed and 41 injured in Alexandria’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral bombing, according to Ministry of Health.

15:15 Prime Minister Sherif Ismail pledged to identify the perpetrators behind Egyptian churches’ explosions during a meeting with Gharbia governor and Bishop Paul of Tanta.

14:58 A suicide bomber killed 13 and injured at least 40 after blowing himself up using an explosive belt outside Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria.

14:58 – The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for both attacks that hit churches in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday, Site Intel Group tweeted a statement by the IS-affiliated Amaq News Agency.

14:52 – Gharbiya Security Director and a number of national security officials were dismissed after bombing attack hit a church in Tanta, leaving 30 dead and 71 injured.

14:20 – Saudi King Salman Bin Abdel Aziz condemned the attacks in a statement Sunday, where he offered condolences to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and assured his country’s solidarity with Egypt.

14:19 – Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the “brutal attack” at churches in Alexandria and Tanta.

14:12 – Church of England showed solidarity with Egyptians after churches attack on Palm Sunday, tweeting: “A prayer for the people of Egypt...Restless with grieved and fear the abandoned turn to you.”

14: 02 – The British Ambassador in Egypt, John Casson, said on his twitter account that the “U.K. stands in solidarity with Egypt against hatred and terrorism.”

13:59 – 11 people, including a police officer, killed and 33 injured in Alexandria’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral bombing, according to Ministry of Health.

13:58 – Head of Shebin El koum City Court reportedly killed in Mar Girgis bomb attack in Tanta, according to Extra News TV Channel.

13:55 - The U.S. Embassy in Cairo condemned “the heinous, reprehensible terrorist attack” against peaceful worshipers at Saint George’s Church in Tanta on one of the holiest days of the Christian year.

13:40 – United Arab Emirates denounced Mar Girgis Church of Tanta bomb attack.

13:33 - President Abdel-Fatah Al-Sisi invites the National Defense Council to convene

13:23 - President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi condemned the "brutal attack" in Tanta, offered condolences to families of the victims.

13:20 - Kuwait Prince condemned Mar Girgis Church bomb attack in Tanta, expressed his country’s solidarity with Egypt.

13:15 - Bahrain condemned the terrorist attacks on Tanta and Alexandria churches. In a statement, the Bahraini Foreign Ministry said that Manama supports Egypt in its struggle against terrorism that threat innocent lives.

13:10 - Military spokesperson, Tamer El-Refai, said military hospitals across the country are ready to receive those injured in the Tanta Church bombing.

13:05: Father Boutros Daniel, director of the Catholic Center, confirmed that Pope Francis's visit to Egypt in April 28-29 is still on after the attack, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.

13:00 – General Supervisor of Tanta hospitals, Hisham Tawfiq, says the death toll hit 30.

12:37 - Pope Francis condemns Egypt Church blast, appeals for end to terror.

12:21 - Iraqi Foreign Ministry announces “full solidarity” with Egypt in its fight against terrorism, “which targets its internal security and its people’s safety.”

12:13 – Latest: 22 dead and 71 injured after bomb attack at a Tanta Church - Ministry of Health.

Tanta Church 11
Mar Guirgis Church - YOUM7/Hussein Tallal

12:07 – Jordanian King Abdullah II condemned church attack, says: Jordanians stand by Egyptians against terrorism

11:55 – State Security Prosecution team announces investigations kick off heads to Church sit to investigate.

11:31 – Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail condemns the attack as “terrorist act”, says, “Egypt is determined to eradicate terrorism.”

11:22 – Ministry of Health announces death toll reached 21, and 59 injured in Mar Girgis Church on Palm Sunday.

11:11 – Azhar Institute condemns “terrorist attack” at Mar Girgis Sunday, labels it as “awful crime.”

10:08 – Police beefed up security measures around churches after explosion in Tanta church, as dozens feared dead.

9:15 – Explosion hits Mar Girgis Church in Tanta city.

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