Tanta and Alexandria

“Egypt's Coptic churches hit by deadly blasts on Palm Sunday” http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39544451


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

In Alexandria, an explosion outside St Mark's Coptic church killed 13 people. Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Church, had been attending Mass inside and was unhurt, state media reported.

An earlier blast at St George's Coptic church in Tanta*1 killed 27 people.

So-called Islamic State (IS) says it is behind the explosions. The group has targeted Copts in Egypt recently.

Four police officers, including one policewoman, were among those killed in Alexandria, the interior ministry said. The suicide bomber blew himself up after they stopped him from entering the church.

The first explosion in Tanta, 94km (58 miles) north of Cairo, took place near the altar.

Security forces later dismantled two explosive devices at the Sidi Abdel Rahim Mosque, also in Tanta, the state-run Al-Ahram news website reports*2 .

The explosions injured at least 78 people in Tanta and 35 others in Alexandria, the health ministry said.


Pope Francis, who is due to visit Egypt later this month, has condemned the explosions.

"I pray for the dead and the injured, and I am close in spirit to the family members (of the victims) and to the entire community," he said*3.

See also

Joe Sterling, Faith Karimi, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Hamdi Alkhshali “ISIS claims responsibility for Egypt's Palm Sunday church bombings” http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/09/middleeast/egypt-church-explosion/
Associated Press “Egypt: Isis claims responsibility for Coptic church bombings” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/09/egypt-coptic-church-bombing-death-toll-rises-tanta-cairo


David Batty”Egypt bomb kills new year churchgoers” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/01/egypt-bomb-kills-new-year-churchgoers
Ian Black “Egypt arrests 7 over deadly Coptic church attack in Alexandria” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/02/egypt-arrest-17-coptic-attack-alexandria
Amira Nowaira “The slow death of tolerance in Egypt” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/05/egypt-coptic-tolerance-alexandria *5


Ian Black “Isis claim of beheading Egyptian Copts in Libya shows group's spread” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/15/isis-21-egyptian-coptic-christians-beheading-libya