Bomb attack near Coptic cathedral kills 25

CATHEDRAL Protesters gathered outside the church in the hours after the explosionA bombing near the Coptic cathedral in the Egyptian capital Cairo has killed at least 25 people, officials say.
Dozens of others were injured in the blast at St Peter’s church during a Sunday church service.
The church is adjacent to St Mark’s cathedral, within the same complex. Photos and video footage showed damage to the church, with shattered windows and broken roofing.
The explosion happened at 10:00 (08:00 GMT) on Sunday.
Video sourced by regional media appeared to show the interior of the church littered with broken and scattered furniture, along with blood and clothing on the floor.
“I saw a headless woman being carried away,” one eyewitness told the Associated Press. “Everyone was in a state of shock.”
“There were children. What have they done to deserve this? I wish I had died with them instead of seeing these scenes,” she said.
Egypt’s Coptic Christians make up about 10 per cent of the country’s population.
St Mark’s Cathedral is the headquarters of the country’s Orthodox church, and the home of its leader, Pope Tawadros II.
By lunchtime, a crowd of protesters had gathered outside the cathedral complex. Police kept the area tightly cordoned off.
On Saturday, six policemen were killed when a bomb exploded on a main road leading to the pyramids at Giza. The explosion, at a police checkpoint, was the deadliest attack on security forces in Cairo in over six months.
A recently formed militant group called Hasm said it carried out the attack.
Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority have complained of discrimination in the mostly Muslim nation.
Two people were killed outside St Mark’s cathedral in 2013, when people mourning the death of four Coptic Christians killed in religious violence clashed with local residents.

 

-BBC

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