Egypt Declares State of Emergency after Sunday's ISIS Bombings

Apr 14, 2017, 10:40

ISIS's news agency Amaq stated: "A group that belongs to Islamic State carried out the two attacks on the churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria".

The bombings come as Islamic State's branch in Egypt appears to be stepping up attacks and threats against Christians.

A witness who lives in front of the Tanta church also said that the aftermath was horrifying, the inside of the church was filled with dead people with only half of their bodies remained.

In February, Christian families and students fled Egypt's North Sinai province after a spate of targeted killings.

The blasts came at the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter, and just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit the Arab world's most populous country.

"I won't say those who fell are Christian or Muslim, I will say that they're Egyptian", Sisi said in a speech.

"The Catholic Church in India also shares and reiterates the expression of profound grief of His Holiness, Pope Francis, following the Church attacks", Bishop Mascarenhas wrote. Along with civilians, a policeman, a policewoman and other police staff were killed.

US strongly condemns.' He said he has "great confidence" that President Sissi will handle situation properly.

The ministry said the explosion went off at Saint Mark's Church in Alexandria, where Pope Tawadros II had earlier celebrated Palm Sunday.

Mourners have condemned the bombings, and gathered at funerals held late at night for the Coptic church bomb victims in the Nile Delta city of Tanta.

Outraged Egyptians posted messages of solidarity with members of the embattled religious minority on social media, using a hashtag saying "your terrorism brings us together". He expressed his grief following the church attack. "May the Lord convert the heart of those who sow terror, violence and death and also the heart of those who make weapons and trade in them".

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, called the attacks "evil" and urged people to pray for the victims.

According to Egypt's constitution, parliament must vote in favour of such a declaration - a virtual certainty since the legislature is packed with supporters of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi.