Second terrorist attack on Palm Sunday kills 18, injures 40
Pope Tawadros II was present in Alexandria's cathedral a few minutes before the attack
Sarah El-Sheikh April 9, 2017 1 Comment

T
he death toll of the attack on Alexandria’s Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral on Sunday rose to 18, while 40 were injured, according to the Ministry of Health.
This came during Palm Sunday, which marks a holy day for Christians.
The explosion took place a few minutes after the departure of the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II, whose presence to head the prayers at the cathedral was announced in the media.
Media reports confirmed that the pope is safe. Official reports and eyewitnesses confirmed that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber outside the cathedral.
A terrorist wearing an explosive belt was attempting to enter the cathedral at 9.00am, but when security forces at the gate stopped him, he detonated his explosives immediately, resulting in the killing of 18 people, including a police officer, a non-commissioned police officer, and one female police officer, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.
The police victims included police officer Ahmed Ibrahim, major Nagwa El-Haggar, and the head of the investigation bureau of Attarin district, who died while preventing the attacker from entering the cathedral.
High-ranking security officers arrived at the scene and imposed security measures. Emergency cars also arrived at the scene to transfer the injured to hospital.
A few hours earlier, another explosion hit a Coptic church in Tanta, leaving 25 killed and 71 injured.
Amid the aftermath of the two attacks, news outlets on their social media pages had circulated news about another attack. However, the Ministry of Interior denied that and stated that this is just false information.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail condemned the attacks. The Prosecutor-General ordered an investigation into the attack. A number of western and Arab leaders condemned the attack and sent their condolences to the Egyptian government.
The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for both attacks amid previous threats of targeting Copts in Egypt. Previously, IS claimed responsibility for the attack on St. Peter and St. Paul Church, killing at least 29 people on 11 December.
Copts in Egypt have recently been suffering from regular IS attacks. Coptic citizens in North Sinai have suffered from kidnappings and killings by militants.
The attacks occurred weeks before the scheduled visit of Pope Francis, the pope of the Roman Catholic Church, who will meet President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and heads of the main religious institutions in Cairo on 28 and 29 April.
The Alexandria attack today was compared to the bombing of Alexandria’s Saints Church on the 2011 New Year’s Eve, which killed 28 people and injured 300 others. Although the incident happened five years ago, no defendants have been referred to court in connection to it.
Another incident occurred in 2013 when unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at the Virgin Mary Church located in Cairo’s Al-Warraq district during the celebration of a Coptic Orthodox wedding. Four people were killed and 17 were injured in the attack.
Other terrorist attacks throughout the past three years targeted Coptic churches, all of which were highly condemned by multiple institutions and public figures. The judiciary has so far not reached a verdict or a definitive conclusion in any of these cases.
Topics: Alexndria bomb church palm Sunday
Sarah El-Sheikh
MORE IN EGYPT
MORE IN SARAH EL-SHEIKH
Recommended
Detention renewed for 8 defendants in Al-Warraq clashes case
Al-Warraq residents face criminal court
State displaced Warraq tenants not for land recovery, but for selling land to investors: residents
Legal procedures continue in Warraq case
Government maintains wiping out Al-Warraq infringements: Al-Haras
Encroachment demolition in Al-Warraq ceased following clashes
Egyptian Foreign Ministry follows investigation in death of Egyptian-American girl
Interior Ministry reveals identity of Alexandria Cathedral suicide bomber
Vatican delegation offers condolences to Pope Tawadros II for Palm Sunday victims
Defence Minister meets US Congress delegation
Investigations to reveal identity of Palm Sunday attackers ongoing
In Pictures: Church bids farewell to victims of terrorism
In Video: The feast turned into in a river of blood
Foreign media highlights “Christians’ security need” in coverage of Palm Sunday attacks 
Bombings of churches have no serious effect on investments in Egypt: ILO director
Terrorist attack in Egypt claims first three female police officers
3-month state of emergency declared by presidency, approved by cabinet
Army to be deployed to secure institutions: Al-Sisi
In Video: IS attacks Egypt’s churches on Palm Sunday, kills 45, injures 100+
Condemnations dominate reactions to church attacks
IS attacks Egypt’s churches on Palm Sunday
In Pictures: Explosion at Saint Mark’s Church in Alexandria 
11 killed, 33 injured in explosion at Saint Mark’s Church in Alexandria 
BREAKING: Casualties reported in explosion near church in Tanta

Featured Video
Video| Egypt’s President Al-Sisi weighs in on freedom of expression, Islamic extremism
Editorial Pick
Opinion | Why is Egypt postponing the war against Ethiopia?
UNDP, Planning Ministry launch Egypt’s Human Development Report 2021
Al-Sisi ensures personal freedoms as Egypt launches National Strategy for Human Rights
Opinion| Baghdad summit to calm crises
Latest News
Libya’s parliament withdraws confidence from government
Sorouh Developments offers three different payment plans for the first time
Opinion| China-Africa Investment Cooperation is Mutually Beneficial with Promising Future
OPINION
Opinion| China-Africa Investment Cooperation is Mutually Beneficial with Promising Future
Opinion| Climate Wars and Artificial Intelligence: Cause or Consequence?
Opinion | Why is Egypt postponing the war against Ethiopia?
Opinion| Socialism defeats capitalism in the time of coronavirus
MORE OPINION

Receive our daily newsletter
Subscribe