Egypt's Christians bury dead after IS church bombings

Global security firm and NBC News consultant Flashpoint Intelligence said ISIS-affiliated Amaq Media said the terror group carried out the two church attacks. The bombings also left scores wounded.

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

In two bombings in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria, at least 43 people were killed. The explosive device was planted under a seat in the main prayer hall, it said.

The country's health ministry said Monday that 27 people were killed and 68 injured in the first blast, which hit St. George Church in Tanta as it was packed with Sunday worshipers.

The measure was announced on Sunday in a televised address by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi following the attacks.

Palm Sunday was one of the most celebrated services in the Christian Community.

"Terrorism of states invites group terrorism, and oppression of governments invites gang group oppression". The video then quickly switched to bars as harrowing screams and cries echo in the background.

State TV reported that Gen. Hossam El-Din Khalifa, head of the security directorate in Gharbiya province, has been replaced.

After the attack in Tanta, authorities replaced the provincial police chief amid anger and frustration over the attacks.

Coptic Pope Tawadros had been leading the mass at Saint Mark's Cathedral at the time of the explosion but was not injured, the Interior Ministry said.

Three policemen were among those killed in the attack.

Church leaders say attendance at Sunday Morning's service, following the bombings, was by the far the biggest attendance they've ever seen.

"I came back and the area was covered in smoke". Other people were cut to pieces; blood and body parts were everywhere. Downtown is usually busy but was relatively quiet on Sunday because of the holiday.

Copts have faced persecution and discrimination that has spiked since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak's regime in 2011.

A bomb at a Cairo cathedral that killed at least 25 people in December 2016, many of them women and children, was also claimed by IS.

The Coptic Church is one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East, and its members make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population. They base their theology on the teachings of the Apostle Mark, who introduced Christianity to Egypt. Tanta is roughly 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of Cairo, in the Nile delta. "Everybody is fighting and is not listening to each other". We also pray for our Coptic Orthodox sisters and brothers who continue to be resilient in the face of ongoing and escalating attacks, and who resist the urge to react vengefully or reciprocally. Mossad says the attack on his fellow church is heartbreaking.

Guterres, the Security Council and the UNAOC expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks and to the Government of Egypt. "May the Lord convert the hearts of people who sow terror, violence and death and even the hearts of those who produce and traffic in weapons".

  • Salvatore Jensen