UN condemns terrorist attacks on Church in Egypt

EGYPTIAN President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi declared in a televised statement on Sunday evening a three-month state of emergency in the Arab country after two church blasts killed at least 44 and injured over 120.

"A series of steps will be taken, most importantly, the announcement of a state of emergency for three months after legal and constitution steps are taken", Sisi said in a speech aired on state television on Sunday following the bombings, claimed by Islamic State.

The UN Security Council condemned the bombings of two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt yesterday, calling the attacks "heinous" and "cowardly".

Later, an explosion hit Saint Mark's Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, killing at least 18 and wounding 35 just after Pope Tawadros II finished services.

Pope Francis, marking Palm Sunday in St. Peter's Square, decried the bombings, expressing "deep condolences to my brother, Pope Tawadros II, the Coptic church and all of the dear Egyptian nation".

Twenty-five people had died in an earlier blast at St George's Coptic church, in the city of Tanta, about 130km south-east.

This is published unedited from the ANI feed.

In February, scores of Christian families and students fled Egypt's North Sinai province after a spate of targeted killings. "It's not right what I'm seeing being repeated on all of our channels, and you know this hurts Egyptians". Trump condemned Sunday's attacks on Twitter and said he has "great confidence Sisi will handle the situation properly".

"So sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. U.S. strongly condemns".

The Islamic State has taken responsibility for the twin attacks on churches on Palm Sunday. "God convert the hearts of the people who spread terror, violence and dead, and also the heart of who produces and traffic weapons".

Sisi led the 2013 ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who was elected to replace the deposed Hosni Mubarak.

In December a year ago, 25 people were killed by a suicide bombing at Cairo's main Coptic cathedral.

Sisi has also ordered military troops be deployed across the country.

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

Two Islamic state militants, Abu Al-Baraa Al-Masri and Abu Ishaaq Al-Masri, have been linked to the attacks. The group has threatened further attacks.

The Catholic Archbishop of Egypt, Bishop Emmanuel, told journalists at a news conference on Friday that the Pope's visit was meant to send a message that Egypt was safe.

A CCTV video being shared of the attack on Saint Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria in Egypt shows that the terrorist bombed the place soon after he was denied entry into the church.

  • Leroy Wright