At least 11 dead following second explosion in Egypt

Published April 9th, 2017 - 03:00 GMT
Egyptian clergymen and officials carry the coffins of the victims of a church bombing in Cairo, on December 12, 2016. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)
Egyptian clergymen and officials carry the coffins of the victims of a church bombing in Cairo, on December 12, 2016. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

A second explosion has killed at least 11 people at a church in Alexandria, hours after a bomb at another church north of Cairo killed dozens of worshipers.

The blast outside St. Mark's church in the coastal city of Alexandria on Sunday killed at least six people and wounded 35 in the second Palm Sunday attack on Coptic Christians, the Egyptian Health Ministry announced.

An earlier blast at a church in Tanta, north of Cairo, killed at least 26 people and wounded dozens in an apparent attack on Coptic worshippers.

The New Arab correspondent reported that a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Alexandria church, where Pope Tawadros II had been attending Palm Sunday mass.

A church official told local media that the Pope had not been harmed in the attack and had left the church before the blast went off.

State media said that at least two policemen had been killed in the Alexandria attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday's blasts.


Copts, who make up about one tenth of Egypt's population of more than 92 million and who celebrate Easter next weekend, have been targeted by several attacks in recent months.

Pope Francis is due to visit Cairo on April 28-29 to show solidarity with Egypt's Christian community. Some experts have said the attack may be an attempt to force a cancellation.

In December, a suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed 29 worshippers during Sunday mass in Cairo.

The bombing of the church within a compound that also holds the seat of the Coptic papacy was the deadliest attack against the minority in recent memory.

A spate of Islamic State group-linked attacks in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula, including the murder of a Copt in the city of al-Arish whose house was also burned, have led some Coptic families to flee their homes.

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.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for a National Defence Council meeting in response to the attacks on Sunday, according to state TV.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid called Sunday's bombing "a failed attempt against our unity".

"Terrorism hits Egypt again, this time on Palm Sunday," he tweeted.

Copyright @ 2022 The New Arab.

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