A CCTV video being shared of the attack on Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria in Egypt shows that the terrorist bombed the place soon after he was denied entry into the church.
At least 45 people were killed and nearly 120 others injured in explosions that took place in two churches packed with worshippers celebrating Palm Sunday in Egypt’s Tanta and Alexandria cities. The attack is being touted as the deadliest one on the minority Coptic Christians in recent years.
The first blast in the Coptic church of Mar Girgis, also known as St George, killed 27 people and injured 78 others. Police claim the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.
Hours later, a suicide bomber struck the Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria’s Manshyia district. At least 18 people, including police personnel, were killed while 41 others injured in Alexandria’s suicide attack.
The Islamic State has taken responsibility for the twin attacks on churches on Palm Sunday. “Islamic State squads carried out the attacks on two churches in Tanta and Alexandria,” ISIS propaganda news agency ‘Amaq’ on its social media accounts.
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has declared a three-month state of emergency in Egypt and ordered military special forces to protect vital infrastructure. Sisi condemned the attack and said such terrorist acts will not terrify Egyptians.
The president called for a National Defence Council meeting in response to the attack. The National Defence Council is made up of the prime minister, the speaker of Parliament, the minister of defence and the commanders of the Egyptian armed forces, and is chaired by the president. Egypt also announced three days of mourning.
Saint Mark’s Cathedral is the historical seat of the Pope of Alexandria, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.