Egypt church attacks: Congregations 'won't celebrate Easter' after twin Palm Sunday bombings

Making up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 90 million, the Coptic Orthodox form the largest Christian denomination in the Muslim-majority country.

Isis claimed responsibility for the bloodshed, claiming that two of its fighters wearing suicide vests carried out the attacks, and warned of more to come. Egypt prepared to impose a state of emergency after jihadist bombings killed dozens at two churches in the deadliest attacks in recent memory on the country's Coptic Christian minority. "There's no security", said another Christian woman in Tanta in reference to an attack earlier this month near a police training center. The ability of Coptic Christians to worship safely has become a bellwether for President al-Sisi campaign against Islamists and so continued IS attacks may begin cast doubts on the success of his counterterrorism campaign against Egyptian jihadists. "I found people torn up... some people, only half of their bodies remained", Nabil Nader, who lives in front of the Tanta church, said.

Pope Tawadros II had led a Palm Sunday service in the church shortly before.

Seventeen people died in the blast at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, and 48 others were injured, according to Reuters. He detonated his explosives outside, leaving 17 dead, including several police officers.

"These acts will not harm the unity and cohesion of the people", he was later quoted as saying by state media. In December, 28 people were killed in a suicide attack claimed by Islamic State in a church adjoining Cairo's main cathedral.

In their statement, the terrorist group mentions that crusaders and their apostate allies would have to pay a big debt and that it would be paid with the blood of their children.

Egypt's parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved a three-month state of emergency, broadening the power of authorities to crack down on what it called enemies of the state days after two church bombings killed at least 45.

Reports that at least 9 priests have died in the explosion at the Coptic church in Tanta, Egypt. The singing can be heard turning into screams of panic and pain.

Human rights activists have expressed fears that the state of emergency will add even more repression to a country where public freedoms have been crushed in the last four years under the pretext of fighting increasingly widespread terrorism.

This post was syndicated from Breaking News, Nigeria News and World News - The Guardian Nigeria.

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