Updated: Bombs target two churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday



Sun, 09 Apr 2017 - 02:32 GMT


Sun, 09 Apr 2017 - 02:32 GMT

Mar Girgis Church in Tanta - YOUM7/Hussein Tallal

Mar Girgis Church in Tanta - YOUM7/Hussein Tallal

CAIRO – 9 April 2017: At least 43 people died and over 110 were injured in two explosions that targeted churches in Tanta, north of Cairo and Alexandria city during Palm Sunday services.

The first blast hit Mar Girguis Church in Tanta leaving 30 worshipers dead and 71 injured, Sunday morning. Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail labeled the attack an “act of terror.”

Four hours later, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria. The attack resulted in 13 fatalities and 40 injuries.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the suicide bomber was wearing an explosive belt and intended to break into the church. While being apprehended, the terrorist detonated the bomb at the entrance, killing four security service members and a number of civilians at the gate.

State Security teams and the Prosecutor General headed to Tanta in the morning and are en route to Alexandria to examine the scenes.

Security presence has been tightened around the country’s churches to secure the celebrations, on the first day of Coptic Christians' Holy Week.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for both attacks, via “Amaq” its affiliated news agency.

The Coptic Cathedral in Cairo witnessed what was deemed as the deadliest attack on Egyptian Christians in years. At least 35 people were killed and 49 were injured when a device containing about 12 kg of the explosive TNT was detonated in the women’s side of the cathedral during Sunday service.



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