YOUM7/Mohamed El Hosary
CAIRO – 9 April 2017: Messages of condemnation, condolences and solidarity have poured in, following deadly attack on Mar Girgis church in Tanta.
Minister of Religious Endowment (Awqaf) Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa strongly condemned the attack, affirming that it is “an assault against the whole country.”
“Targeting churches is the same as targeting mosques; and they must be protected as well as the church goers,” Gomaa said in a statement to MENA.
Gomaa further called for all Egyptians to “stand as one line behind the armed forces and the police in the national battle against terrorism.”
Minister of State for Military Production General Mohamed El Assar denounced the attack and offered his condolences to the families of the victims. “Our hearts are saddening over the martyrs of the homeland; and the terrorist incident enhances our cohesion.”Assar said.
Egyptian ministers of justice and culture and the national security committee in the parliament also condemned Mar Girgis attack. “The terrorist attack is an extension of terrorist incidents that aim at destroying the country and halting development,” head of the National Security Committee General Kamel Amer stated.
Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul-Gheit also denounced the terrorist explosion. He asserted his solidarity with the Egyptian government and the people in combating these “coward terrorist operations” and his support for Egyptian authorities in tracking the criminals.
“Targeting innocents while performing religious service confirms again that those who stand behind these hideous crimes do not observe the sanctity of any religion and do not hesitate in shedding the blood of their victims,” Mahmoud Afifi, spokesman of the Arab League's Secretary General said.
The national Front for Egyptians Abroad offered its condolences to the families of the victims and all Egyptians, stressing that such terrorist acts will enhance the Egyptian state’s determination to uproot terrorism “These terrorists are enemies of the religion and the nation and they aim at overthrowing the country.”
The United National Organization for Human Rights also deemed the attack asa villainous attempt to dismantle the willingness of the Egyptian people.
“Those destroyers will not succeed and they will be caught as soon as possible,” the organization stated, demanding its coordinators in Gharbia governorate to provide the necessary support for the hospitals and follow-up on the incident.
The blast at Mar Girgis church in Tanta, Sunday morning, left at least 40 dead and over 70 injured, as it targeted a mass service in celebration of Palm Sunday. Another attack four hours later targeted Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, resulting in 16 fatalities and at least 40 injuries.