Dozens killed in bombings at Coptic churches; Islamic State claims responsibility

Bomb at Egyptian church kills 25 Palm Sunday worshippers

Church Attack- Shattered pews are among the debris left in a Coptic church in Tanta, Egypt in the aftermath of an explosion April 9.

"It was not until December 2016 when ISIL began a systematic campaign to target Coptic Christians in Egypt", said Jantzen Garnett, an expert on the jihadists with the Navanti Group analytics company.

Other Christians in Egypt are Catholic or Anglican. The group, believed to be linked to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, has mainly targeted security forces and distanced itself from attacks on Christians.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared the measure in a televised address on Sunday following the attacks, reported Al Ahram online.

Thabet says little has changed since previous attacks, despite previous pledges from politicians and religious leaders. Other people were cut to pieces; blood and body parts were everywhere.

A Muslim pedestrian in Cairo wept over the church victims.

"We are seeing simultaneous attacks, based on strong information, targeting big churches across the country". Fifteen people, including at least four Copts, died in the clashes, according Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Al-Ahram Arabic reported that security forces also dismantled two explosive devices at Sidi Abdel Rahim Mosque in Tanta, a city of more than 400,000 about 80 miles southeast of Alexandria. Since Morsi's removal, Egypt has been plagued by militant attacks.

Mohamad Elmasry, assistant professor in the department of communications at the University of North Alabama in the United States, says Egyptian governments "have often responded to violence and instability by resorting to the country's emergency law". Dozens have been killed in sectarian violence.

In August, Jessi Boulus, a Christian schoolgirl, was shot to death while walking home from a bible study class in Cairo.

"We don't know the old security chief and we won't know the new one", she said. Trump spoke by phone Sunday with el-Sissi to express confidence that Egypt will do what it can "to protect Christians and all Egyptians".

The Cabinet will allocate 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($5,530) compensation to families of each victim in Tanta and Alexandria's church bombings, state TV said.

"The emergency law rarely works", he said.

The men, dressed in orange jumpsuits, were beheaded.

27 were killed and 78 injured in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, about 60 miles north of Cairo, when a bomber slipped past closed church doors and metal detectors at the Coptic church of St. George.

The group has repeatedly targeted Egyptian military and police, as well as the Christian minority, both during full scale terrorist attacks and through individual violence.

A day after the Palm Sunday bloodshed, the Interior Ministry said it killed seven Islamic State militants in an exchange of gunfire during a security operation in the southern city of Assiut.

"Coptic churches are very distinct", Labib said of the often-ancient buildings that have long drawn many tourists in Egypt.

Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims.

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