Sunday, April 9, 2017

Egypt: Bombings at Coptic churches kill 43, injure more than 100


In February, scores of Christian families and students fled Egypt's North Sinai province after a spate of targeted killings.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: The Times of Malta
By Reuters | April 9, 2017

Islamic State claims responsibility

At least 43 people were killed in bomb attacks on two Coptic churches on Palm Sunday, that included the seat of the Coptic Pope, the latest assault on a religious minority increasingly targeted by Islamist militants.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which also injured more than 100 people and occurred a week before Coptic Easter, with Pope Francis scheduled to visit Egypt later this month.
The first bombing, in Tanta, a Nile Delta city less than 100 kilometres outside Cairo, killed at least 27 and injured at least 78, Egypt's Ministry of Health said.

The second, carried out just a few hours later by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, hit the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 16, including three police officers, and injuring 41, the ministry added.
READ: Pope condemns blasts, calls for an end to terror

Coptic Pope Tawadros, who had attended mass at Saint Mark's Cathedral, was still in the building at the time of the explosion but was not harmed, the Ministry of Interior said.

"These acts will not harm the unity and cohesion of the people," Tawadros said later, according to state media.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi condemned the attacks and summoned the National Defence Council to an urgent session.

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