Egyptian President has declared three days of mourning starting yesterday after an Coptic cathedral was attacked in Cairo leaving 25 people dead and 49 others injured.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi called Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria to express his condolences and declared a three-day national mourning period. The president also pledged to find the perpetrators and to arrest them.
An explosion caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) containing 12kg of TNT believed to be targeting the Sunday worshippers of the Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Abbasiya neighborhood in Cairo, reports the Daily News Egypt.
“The explosion took place at 10:00am inside the church hall… There was heavy smoke coming from inside the building … there was screaming and body parts everywhere. Ambulances arrived on the scene and took the dead and wounded to El Damrdash and El Shefaa hospitals.” A source from within the church told the Daily News Egypt, the source further added that the number of causalities is set to increase.
According to witnesses at the church most of those killed were women and two young children.
Details of the attack are still not available and no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
A statement from the president’s office said a large number of security personnel, firefighters, and explosives experts were dispatched to the scene and that the numbers of dead and injured are still being counted.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) says more than 40 churches were attacked in Egypt since August 14, 2013 when the security forces launched a crackdown against demonstrations demanding the return of former president Mohamed Morsi according to the report.