27 died as ISIS bombs church in Egypt on Palm Sunday

The second attack, carried out just a few hours later by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, hit the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 11, including three police officers, and injuring 35. "Wait for us, for we will wait for you", the group said in a statement released on its Aamaq news agency.

The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the bombings.

The statement adds: "The president also expressed his confidence in President el-Sissi's commitment to protect Christians and all Egyptians".

Egypt security forces have killed seven suspected Daesh sympathisers thought to be planning attacks against Coptic Christians, the interior ministry said on Monday.

A Kirkland church has a painful connection to the Palm Sunday church bombings in Egypt that killed at least 44 people.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is usually a calm figure when he addresses the nation.

Israel meanwhile closed its Taba border crossing to Egypt after its anti-terrorism office warned of an "imminent" militant attack there, underlining fears of more violence. More recently, hundreds of Egyptian Christians fled the northern Sinai Peninsula following several murders of Christians there and threats of more attacks.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Dr Clement Aduku on Monday in Abuja condemned the attacks.

The bombings happened weeks before Pope Francis plans a visit to Egypt.

The attacks targeted two Coptic Christian churches with Islamic State claiming responsibility and warning of more attacks to come. The first explosion occurred near the altar of the church in Tanta, and the other blast took place in Alexandria when a suicide bomber blew himself up after security stopped him from entering the church.

The state of emergency awaited approval by parliament, a foregone conclusion since the legislature is packed with el-Sissi's supporters, and the Cabinet declared that it had gone into effect at 1 p.m. (1100 GMT).

Egypt's state television reported that at least 71 people were wounded in the attack.

Coptic Christians make up about 10% of Egypt's population of 85 million.

He also said that a three-month state of emergency would be imposed.

"Christian targets are easier - churches are far more hard to fortify than, say, an army barracks or a police station. They don't want us to pray but we will pray", Samira Adly, 53, one of the mourners said.

  • Leroy Wright