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Published On: Sun, Apr 9th, 2017

At least 35 killed in Explosions at Churches in Egyptian Cities of Alexandria and Tanta

nsnbc : At least 35 people were, according to initial figures killed in two explosions in Coptic churches in the Egyptian cities of Alexandria and Tanta as Coptic Christian congregations were celebrating Palm Sunday.

Tanta_Egypt_After the attack on a Coptic Church_Palm Sunday_Apr 2017One bomb exploded Sunday at St. George’s Church in the Al-Gharbayya governorate. Hours later another bomb exploded at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. The explosion in Tanta claimed according to initial reports from the Health Ministry 25 lives while another 70 or more were injured.

A bomb had reportedly been placed underneath a seat. An emergency room was established by Egyptian security services. President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi reportedly made sure military hospitals were ready to receive the injured.

Another bomb at St Mark’s cathedral in Alexandria claimed, according to initial reports, the lives of 11 people while some 30 others reportedly were injured.

The State-linked Al-Ahram reported that a high-ranking police officer was killed when he intercepted a suicide bomber outside the Cathedral. The police officer has been identified as Emad Al-Rekaiby.

St Mark's Cathedral attack_Palm Sunday_Alexandria_Egypt_Apr 2017Egypt’s Muslim Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni Islamic authority in Egypt, issued a strongly worded statement condemning the attacks. The bombings also led to more or less immediate criticism of Egypt’s Interior Ministry and Security Services for “having failed” the Christian Coptic communities in the country in the presence of increased islamist terrorism.

Others again describe such criticism as an understandable emotional response but underpin that it is impossible to protect an entire country against terrorists who can strike anywhere, at any time.

Terrorists who more often than not are internationally organized and supported by networks with links to foreign intelligence services. So far no organization claimed responsibility for the two bombings.

It is worth noting that the main purpose of attacks that target specific religious communities usually is not to harm any particular group of individuals but to destabilize a country by creating an atmosphere of mistrust, suspicion and division instead of understanding and solidarity.

CH/L – nsnbc 09.04.2017

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