Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

A timeline of recent attacks on Egypt's Christians

A timeline of recent attacks on Egypt's Christians

The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in Tanta and Alexandria.

Egyptian Christians are burying their dead a day after at least 44 people were killed in twin suicide bombings at Palm Sunday services in two separate cities.

"The US stands firmly with the Egyptian government and people to defeat terrorism", the Embassy said in a statement.

Pope Francis, who is due to visit Egypt next month, condemned the horror attacks while urging terrorists and arms manufacturers to stop the bloodshed.

Copts have long complained of discrimination and sporadic attacks by extremists.

Violence erupted in April of 2013 when five Copts and one Muslim man were shot and killed in al-Khusus, greater Cairo, according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In addition to the death toll of 45 from the two explosions, scores more people were wounded. Fire and smoke filled the room and the injuries were extremely severe. "I would like security to be intensified", he told CNN.

"We won't see a change on the ground, as this decision wasn't taken to give more powers or tighten control", said political analyst Yasser Abdel-Aziz. "We are a generation that won't leave the church or Egypt". "Every church in Egypt is prepared, everyone knows sometimes you will get bombed, so we are prepared". It was a phenomenon that led to some feelings of disenchantment and skepticism about the political upheaval going on in the country from members of the country's biggest religious minority.

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On Sunday, the group warned of more attacks and boasted of the number of people killed by three church bombings it says it has carried out since December: 80.

Egypt's Ministry of Health has said at least 16 people were killed and a further 41 in the terror attack. "This is a very risky development", said Mina Thabet, a rights researcher focusing on minorities.

A day after brazen ISIS attacks killed dozens at two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday, Egypt's Cabinet announced a three-month state of emergency, a measure created to help authorities root out the terror network.

"Terror can not be faced by calls for unity", he said.

The first blast ripped through a Palm Sunday service at St. George's Church in Tanta. "How does it help me feel protected going into church?"

Many of Egypt's Christians are Coptic, a centuries-old sect influenced by the apostle and evangelist Mark, who is believed by many to have brought the teachings of Christ to that country in the first century A.D. Since Morsi's removal, Egypt has been plagued by militant attacks. "They want to show also that it is not only Sinai that will be targeted but the rest of the governorates".

The Egyptian cabinet Monday approved Sisi's declaration of a three-month state of emergency in the country, allowing police and the security forces "to execute those procedures necessary to combat the threats of terrorism ... maintain security around the country and protect public and private property, as well as preserving the lives of citizens".

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