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09Apr EGYPT Palm Sunday TANTA bombs kill 45, wound 100

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:33 pm    Post subject: 09Apr EGYPT Palm Sunday TANTA bombs kill 45, wound 100 Reply with quote

43 killed and 100 wounded in bomb attacks on churches in Egypt
The church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta was filled with worshippers at the time of the blast.
http://home.bt.com/news/world-news/13-killed-and-25-wounded-in-egypt-c hurch-bombing-11364171826547

Press Association
Last updated: 09 April 2017, 18:00 BST Print this story
At least 43 people have been killed and about 100 more wounded when bombs exploded at two Coptic churches in two Egyptian cities, in attacks claimed by Islamic State.

In the first attack, a bomb went off inside St George’s Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, killing at least 27 people and wounding 78, officials said.

A few hours later, a suicide bomber rushed toward St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, killing at least 16 people and wounding 41, the interior ministry said.

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37 killed in Islamic State bomb attacks on Egyptian churches

The blasts happened as worshippers celebrated Palm Sunday at the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter, and just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit the country on April 28-29.

A man in a blue pullover was caught on CCTV approaching the main gate to St Mark’s but being turned away and directed toward a metal detector.

The man then passed a female police officer chatting to another woman, and entered a metal detector before an explosion engulfed the area.

People gather outside the church after the bomb attack in the Nile Delta town of Tanta
People gather outside the church after the bomb attack in the Nile Delta town of Tanta (Ahmed Hatem/AP)
Carpenter Maged Saleh flew into a rage as blood streamed from his arm after he and his mother escaped the explosion.

“Where is the government?” the 27-year-old screamed at onlookers outside the Tanta hospital. “There is no government!”

TV footage from inside the church in Tanta showed people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers.

People gather outside the church after the bomb attack in the Nile Delta town of Tanta
The attack took place on Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week leading up to Easter (Ahmed Hatem/AP)
Hundreds of residents gathered in the area, and church members blocked people from entering the church as police cordoned off the area.

Pope Tawadros II had held Palm Sunday services at the cathedral, but his aides said he escaped unharmed.

The timing of the attack raised the question of whether the bomber had sought to assassinate Pope Tawadros, leader of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities.

IS claimed the attacks via its Aamaq news agency, after recently warning that it would step up violence against Egypt’s Christians.

People clean up debris the explosion at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria
People clean up debris the explosion at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria (Hazem Gouda/AP)
Regional police chief Brig Gen Hossam Elddin Khalifa was fired over the incident, with Maj Gen Tarek Hassouna replacing him, it was reported.

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

US president Donald Trump tweeted that he is “so sad to hear of the terrorist attack” against the US ally. He added that he has “great confidence” that Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi “will handle the situation properly.”

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