A terror explosion at Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral on Sunday has left at least 26 people dead and another 25 injured, Egyptian media reported.
Security sources have said that the terrorist was a woman who carried the 6kg (13 lb) explosive device in her handbag and deposited it in the cathedral before leaving and detonating the bomb remotely during Sunday morning prayers. Many of the victims are believed to be women and children.
— Imad Salamoun (@ImadSalamoun) December 11, 2016
St. Mark’s Cathedral, located in Cairo, is the seat of Egypt’s Orthodox Christian church and the largest cathedral in all of Africa and the Middle East. It is also the home base of the church’s spiritual leader, Pope Tawadros II.
— Adel El-Adawy (@adeladawy) December 11, 2016
Egypt’s Christians, constituting about 10 percent of the total population of the country, are continuously subject to persecution and discrimination from their Muslim neighbors. Christians are routinely attacked and their homes and churches set on fire.
Sunday’s attack follows two roadside bombs in and around Cairo which killed six policemen and wounded six civilians on Friday. No group has yet claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.
The church bombing also comes on the heels of a terror attack on Saturday evening in Turkey. Two explosions in Istanbul outside of a football stadium left 38 dead and injured more than 160.