36 killed, 140 injured in IS blasts at Egypt’s Coptic churches

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Apr 2017 13:02:43


CAIRO,

Apr 9,

(PTI),

 

Twin blasts targeted Mar Girgis Coptic Church and Saint Mark’s Church

AT LEAST 36 people were killed and nearly 140 others injured on Sunday in twin IS blasts targeting Coptic churches packed with worshippers who had gathered for Palm Sunday mass in Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria, the deadliest attacks on minority Christians in recent years.


The first blast took place in the Coptic church of Mar Girgis, also known as St George, in the Nile delta city of Tanta, about 120 kilometres from Cairo, killing 25 people and injuring 71, according to a statement by the Health Ministry.


Security sources said the primary investigations suggest that a person put an explosive device inside the church during the Christian prayers celebrating the Palm Sunday. However, others said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.
The explosion targeted the front rows in the church hall. Among those killed is Samuel George, the head of Tanta Court. Hours later, a suicide bomber struck the Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria’s Manshyia district, police said.


At least 11 people, including police personnel, were killed while 66 others injured in Alexandria’s suicide bomb attack, according to a statement by the Health Ministry.
In a statement, Interior ministry said a suicide bomber had planned to blow up himself using an explosive belt inside the church in Alexandria, but the security forces stopped him.
A police officer and a policewoman, as well a low-ranking police officer, were killed while preventing the suicide bomber from entering the cathedral, the ministry said.


It said Pope Tawadros II was inside the cathedral leading Palm Sunday Mass, but he was not harmed in the attack.