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Monday, April 10, 2017

Bombs Rip through Egyptian Churches on Palm Sunday

Bombs Rip through Egyptian Churches
Palm Sunday 
Suicide bombers attacked two Coptic churches in northern Egyptian cities, killing at least 44 people celebrating Palm Sunday and turning the holy day into grief and bloody devastation.
ISIS suicide bombers kill 44 in Egypt church blasts targeting Coptic Christians on Palm Sunday 
The blasts, which also injured 126 people, prompted Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to call for a three-month state of emergency.
The first ISIS bomber blew himself up inside St. George’s Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta about 9:30 a.m., killing at least 27 people and wounding 78, officials said.
About four hours later, a suicide bomber rushed toward St. Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, killing at least 17 people and wounding 48, the Interior Ministry said.
Photos from the churches showed pews blasted into splinters and pools of blood. One man held up the bloodstained clothes of Coptic clergy. 
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit the Arab world’s most populous country.
Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Church, had held Palm Sunday services at St. Mark’s Cathedral, but officials said he escaped unharmed. It was unclear if the bomber’s goals included assassinating the leader of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities. 
Copts trace their history to the first century and base their theology on the teachings of St. Mark the Apostle, who introduced Christianity to Egypt.

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