Islamic State claims responsibility for church bombings in Egypt

A general view shows people gathering outside the Mar Girgis Coptic Church in the Nile Delta City of Tanta, 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Cairo, after a bomb blast struck worshipers gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday on April 9, 2017. (AFP Photo)

Egypt ( The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the two church bombings which occurred on Sunday in Tanta and Alexandria cities, the group’s news agency Amaq has reported.

Thirty victims were killed, while 71 persons were injured, due to a bombing that targeted Mar Girguis church in Tanta city, Gharbiya province, 120 kilometers north of Cairo, the Egyptian Health Ministry declared.

Local media channels reported that 11 persons, including three policemen, were killed, while 36 others were injured as a result of a suicide attack in the vicinity of Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria.

Local media also reported that the Alexandria explosion took place while Pope Tawadros II was inside the church giving a sermon during Palm Sunday celebrations.

Egyptian Copts have been repeatedly targeted by the group. IS had previously claimed responsibility for the bombing that occurred outside the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo in December, which left 29 persons killed and 70 others wounded.

In February, a video attributed to the group had labelled Egyptian Copts as a “favorite target”.

Besides occasional attacks against Copts, hundreds of Egyptian security members were killed in attacks in the Sinai Peninsula since a militant group there, previously known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdes, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State late 2014.

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