Egypt state media: Bombing at church in Nile Delta

Cheryl Sanders
April 9, 2017

Two blasts targeting Coptic Christians in Egypt on Palm Sunday have killed at least 40 people, officials say.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said a bomber detonated himself after being prevented from breaking through the security cordon around the church.

Hundreds gathered outside the Tanta church shortly after the blast, some weeping and wearing black while inside, blown apart pews sat atop tiles soaked with blood. The Health Ministry said 11 people were killed and another 35 were wounded.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi said the injured are to be treated at military hospitals, local news channels reported.

Egyptian officials denounced the violence as an attempt to sow divisions in the country, while Francis sent his "deep condolences" to Tawadros. The mosque, which includes a Sufi shrine, is considered the second most important mosque in city, Al-Ahram Arabic reported. "There's no security", said another Christian woman in Tanta.

Tanta was also the site of another attack earlier this month, when a policeman was killed and 15 were injured after a bomb exploded near a police training center.

As we celebrate Palm Sunday today and Christ's entry into Jerusalem, we now also mark the entry of those who have passed today into the heavenly Jerusalem.

Pope Francis is due to visit Cairo on April 28-29 to show solidarity with Egypt's Christian community.

"I pray for the dead and the victims".

Orthodox Copts make up of the majority of Egypt's Christians, who comprise about 10 percent of the majority-Muslim country's total population. Its relationship with neighboring Egypt has declined after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

At least 27 people died and about 78 were injured during the first explosion at the St George's Coptic Church in Tanta, according to state media reports from the deputy minister of health.

"A group that belongs to Islamic State carried out the two attacks on the churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria", said Amaq, the group's news agency.

About 250 Christians took refuge in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya after IS released a video in February calling for attacks on the religious minority.

US President Donald Trump led global condemnation of Sunday's attacks.

Other reports by iNewsToday