Funerals held for victims of Egypt church bomb attacks

"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", Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said in a speech aired on state television.

Another suicide attack killed at least 27 people inside St. George's Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta.

The terror group had previously claimed responsibility for the attack that targeted St. Peter and St. Paul's Church in Cairo in December 2016 which claimed lives of dozens of people.

"The President also expressed his confidence in President Al Sisi's commitment to protect Christians and all Egyptians", the White House said on Monday.

The latest attack targeted the Mar Girgis church in Tanta in Lower Egypt, and the entrance of the St. Mark church in Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea coast, where Pope Tawdros II led the service.

ISIS has been waging a deadly insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula and has claimed scores of attacks on security forces there. "Seychelles stands with the Egyptian people at this time", said President Faure. Another massive bombing in 2016 killed at least 25 people inside a Cairo church during Sunday mass. "They don't want us to pray but we will pray", Samira Adly, 53, one of the mourners said.

Mr. Sisi made a defiant speech at the presidential palace after a meeting of the national Defence council to discuss the explosions.

Many believe the unraveling of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest and largest Islamist group, is creating new recruits for extremists.

Pope Francis will visit Egypt as planned this month despite the bombings, a Vatican official said. "God convert the hearts of the people who spread terror, violence and dead, and also the heart of who produces and traffic weapons", the Pope said.

The security forces have been put on alert in anticipation of more attacks, the Egyptian media reported.

Andrew Boyd, a spokesperson for the Christian organisation Release International which supports believers under pressure for their faith, told Premier the Egyptian Church is growing, despite persecution.

Coptic Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's population.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Bishop Angaelos, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, urged people not to be distracted from the human cost of the attack.

  • Salvatore Jensen