Egyptian Palm Sunday Bombings- ISIS Claims Responsibility

 In Breaking News, Foreign

Bombs ripped through two Egyptian Coptic Churches on Palm Sunday (April 9). The first blast tore through St. George’s church in Tanta, near the Nile Delta. The second occurred at St. Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal town of Alexandria. At least 37 people have died in the bombings. ISIS has claimed responsibility on their news media Al-Amaq.

Twitter graphic

Pope Tawadros II – leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria- was leading the service when the bomb exploded, but was unharmed.

An Egyptian police officer,  Imad Rakaibi, is just one person credited with stopping the bomber from getting inside the church in Alexandria, which likely saved many lives. He was said to have put his arms around the bomber and embraced him when the suicide vest was detonated. The officer died in the blast. Another police officer who died guarding the Cathedral was Nagwa El-Haggar.

palm sunday bombings

Screenshot of the explosion in Alexandria

The death toll numbers varied from media to media, but the Alexandria blast was far less than the one on Tanta thanks to the actions of the police officers. Approximate numbers are 11 killed in Alexandria, 66 injured; 31 or 32 killed in Tanta, 78 injured.
Xinhua news from China reports that the death toll has risen to 43.

The Coptic church in Egypt has been the brunt of ISIS violence for years. The Libyan arm of ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in February of 2015. Egypt’s President Al-Sisi retaliated with a vengeance for that act.

The bare fact is that Christians are an endangered species in the Middle East. The ISIS branch in Egypt’s Sinai region promised more attacks on Christians.

Warning: Graphic video of the aftermath. This video may be removed by Twitter due to its graphic nature.

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