A bomb exploded in a church north of Cairo that was packed with Palm Sunday worshippers, killing at least 21 people and wounding 50 others, officials said. France 24.
The attack in the Nile Delta town of Tanta was the latest in a series of assaults on Egypt‘s Christian minority, which makes up around 10 percent of the population and has been repeatedly targeted by Islamic extremists. It comes just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit Egypt.
CBC TV showed footage from inside the church, where a large number of people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers. Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed confirmed the toll from the attack in interviews with local and state-run media.
No one immediately claimed the attack (Blog Note, but there is little doubt that they were Islamists).
A local Islamic State affiliate claimed a suicide bombing at a church in Cairo in December that killed around 30 people, mostly women, as well as a string of killings in the restive Sinai Peninsula that caused hundreds of Christians to flee to safer areas of the country.
A militant group called Liwa al-Thawra claimed responsibility for an April 1 bomb attack targeting a police training centre in Tanta, which wounded 16 people. The group, believed to be linked to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, has mainly targeted security forces and distanced itself from attacks on Christians.
Egypt has struggled to combat a wave of Islamic militancy since the 2013 military overthrow of an elected Islamist president.
This tragedy cannot be blamed on Western intervention.
This tragedy cannot be blamed on ‘the West’.
There responsibility lies with those violent Islamists and jihadists whose hatred of Christians, and other non-Muslims, has already led to a mass exodus in the Middle East.
Our love and solidarity to all those suffering after this attack.