Dozens of worshippers killed after bombs tore through 2 Egyptian churches

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Egyptians react near a church in Alexandria after a bomb blast struck worshippers gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday on April 9, 2017.   / AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptians react near a church in Alexandria after a bomb blast struck worshippers gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday on April 9, 2017.
/ AFP PHOTO / STRINGERSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images
Bombs tore through two Egyptian churches in different cities as worshippers were marking Palm Sunday, killing at least 37 people and wounding around 100 in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group.

In the first, attack, a bomb exploded at Saint George church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, killing at least 26 people and wounding over 70, officials said.

Later, an explosion hit Saint Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, killing at least 11 people and wounding 35 just after Pope Tawadros II finished services. His aides later told local media that he had escaped unharmed.

IS claimed the attacks via its Aamaq news agency, after having recently warned that it would step up attacks on Egypt’s Christians.

The blasts came at the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter, and just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit the Arab world’s most populous country.

CBC TV showed footage from inside the church in Tanta, where a large number of people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers. Regional Deputy Health Minister Mohammed Sharshar confirmed the toll.

Across the street, neighbor Susan Mikhail, whose apartment has a clear balcony view of the church and its front yard, said the explosion violently shook her building midmorning, at a time when the church was packed.

“Deacons were the first to run out of the church. Many of them had blood on their white robes,” she told The Associated Press. Later, the more seriously wounded started to come out, carried in the arms of survivors and ferried to hospitals in private cars, she said.

Pope Francis decried the bombings, expressing “deep condolences to my brother, Pope Tawadros II, the Coptic church and all of the dear Egyptian nation.” Word of the attacks came as Francis himself was marking Palm Sunday in St. Peter’s Square.

Grand Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, head of Egypt’s Al-Azhar – the leading center of learning in Sunni Islam – likewise condemned the attacks, calling them a “despicable terrorist bombing that targeted the lives of innocents.”

Both Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement ruling neighboring Gaza also condemned the bombings.

The bombings add to fears that Islamic extremists who have long been battling security forces in the Sinai Peninsula are shifting their focus to civilians.

An Islamic State affiliate claimed a suicide bombing at a Cairo church in December that killed around 30 people, mostly women, as well as a string of killings in the restive northern Sinai that caused hundreds of Christians to flee to safer areas of the country.

The group recently released a video vowing to step up attacks against Christians, who it describes as “infidels” empowering the West against Muslims.

Egypt has struggled to combat a wave of Islamic militancy since the 2013 military overthrow of an elected Islamist president.

The Sinai-based IS affiliate has mainly attacked police and soldiers, but has also claimed bombings that killed civilians, including the downing of a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai in 2015, which killed all 224 people on board and devastated Egypt’s tourism industry.

Egypt’s Copts are one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East. They have long complained of discrimination and that the government does not do enough to protect them.

Egyptian media had previously reported that the church in Tanta had been targeted in the past, with a bomb defused there in late March.

The Copts were largely supportive of the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, and incurred the wrath of many Islamists, who attacked churches and other Christian institutions after his ouster.

The Associated Press.

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19 responses to “Dozens of worshippers killed after bombs tore through 2 Egyptian churches”

  1. man-o-war Avatar
    man-o-war

    More acts of terrorism from the so called “Islamic state”. Disgusting cowardly animals. Bombing a church full of innocent civilians will surely get you 72 fully bearded Virginians.

    1. thank you for this comment

  2. Danny Farah Avatar
    Danny Farah

    Disgusting Egyptian muslims all they do is make up stories that they support fellow Christians and they let them get slaughtered on daily basis. Listen you bastards Egypt was Christians before you made into slums and houses of terror. You pray to ALlah then you kill in his name. If Trump does not want to allow the beasts in the U.S then he is 100% right. Yes I am insulting all muslims in that country because they take it easy on Muslims brotherhoods when it comes to killing Christians. Sissi is not different then Mubarek who did nothing to help and stop the killing. SIssi is a pussy and he only manages to kill young males and fondles females.. anything else he is not capable of.
    Egyptian this message for you shape up or God will strike you hard. Stop worshiping the devil and try to worship God for a change. Obviously what’s written in the QUran is misleading you and only leading you to devious ways. what did these poor christians do to you and they were only worshipping on Palm Sunday? why are you so cowards daesh and brotherhoods of Lucifer and the angels of Death. May your rot in hell and burn with your damned 72 virigins inshallah.

    1. Just “Egyptian” Muslims? Their Iraqi, Yemeni, Saudi, Syrian brothers are much better?

      1. Niemals Avatar

        Don’t forget the savage Europeans that converted to Islam – they are dangerous Salafists https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a39ed587a60de47a5e391cb9f06178603303a26f75f2efb4396f285c3a90f2f1.jpg like this preacher Pierre Vogel https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4cc8a7c316aaae97963cbe713f74b30153166f881e739d9489897442a0abb566.jpg Vogel converted to Islam in 2001

        This one Ibrahim Abou-Nagie https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c64f5d6e7b339c73ec2ea66b7e52742c8def1677286237fb9a0e852f48b7e42.jpg due to ‘ban’ on the “true religion” the hate preacher Abou-Nagie accuse against de Maizière. (WEGEN VERBOTS VON „DIE WAHRE RELIGION“ Hassprediger Abou-Nagie klagt gegen de Maizière).
        This is only a pinch of those fanatics who have recently left their traces in Stockholm.

        1. HebAlba Avatar

          Nga nga gna.. Matrix Niemals @ohyaeh

          1. Aren’t you supposed to be a “Christian”? Sorry, I forgot that your brand of Christianity is strictly limited to “the Jooz killed Jesus”. 🙂

    2. These murderers are not Muslims, but evil radical fundamentalist that hide behind religion. The people that have been living peacefully together and share neighborhoods are not to blame for these crimes, but the radicals that are spewing hatred along with their ignorant followers.
      You’re anger is clearly understood, but your “response/rhetoric” is the exact objective of these killers – they want people to pick sides to justify their hatred. Once they shift the argument from the crime, to choosing a side based on religion (or race) they have accomplished their mission!

      1. +These murderers are not Muslims+ this is your point of view, and someone’s point of view these murders are true Muslims, “moderate” Muslims are may be ass shield of radicals extremists

        1. Killing innocent people is not what Islam teaches. These extremist radicals hide behind religion, and exploit it to instill fear in those who go against them – true criminals for sure!

          1. Ten Obvious Reasons Why Islam is Not a Religion of Peace
            https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/articles/10-reasons-not-peace.aspx

      2. Danny Farah Avatar
        Danny Farah

        Whoever they are this been happening in Egypt for centuries. It’s the attitude of Muslims there toward the Christians. No Christians dare to do anything and if they do God help them. one time a Christian decided to marry a muslim. Her family came to his house and stripped his mother naked in the streets. The egyptian army ran over their tanks over christians worshipers. so it’s the whole mentality over there and it’s low life and inferior mentality.

    3. HebAlba Avatar

      Not Egyptians muslims, Egyptian Brotherhood.
      ‘CIA That Funded the ‘Moderate Muslim Brotherhood’ Narrative Opposed to the Group’s Terror Designation,
      https://pjmedia.com/homeland-security/2017/02/08/cia-that-funded-the-moderate-muslim-brotherhood-narrative-opposed-to-the-groups-terror-designation/

      1. Danny Farah Avatar
        Danny Farah

        well hate to say that Assad was nurturing these monsters as well.

  3. In Egypt, introduced a state of emergency https://lenta.ru/news/2017/04/09/egypt_chp/

  4. Rudy1947 Avatar

    Splendid, a bureaucratic action in response to a national plague. If al-Sisi is going to gain more respect, he will need to take immediate action throughout Egypt and in the Sinai.

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