Coptic cathedral in Cairo bombed during Sunday Mass

World Today

A damaged bench A damaged bench inside the St. Mark Cathedral in central Cairo, following a bombing, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

In Cairo, a bomb at a chapel, adjacent to the main Coptic Christian Cathedral, has killed at least 25 at Sunday Mass. Forty-nine people were also wounded, most of them women. Witnesses suspect that a woman planted the bomb inside the chapel.

CCTV’s Adel el Mahrouky reports from Cairo.

Coptic cathedral in Cairo bombed during Sunday Mass

A bomb at a chapel, adjacent to the main Coptic Christian Cathedral in Cairo, has killed at least 25 at Sunday Mass. Forty nine people were wounded, most of them women. Witnesses suspect that a woman planted the bomb inside the chapel. CCTV's Adel el Mahrouky reports from Cairo.

The attack came two days after a bomb elsewhere in Cairo killed six policemen, an assault claimed by a shadowy group that authorities say is linked to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and which claimed responsibility for a pair of assassination attempts earlier this year in Cairo that targeted Egypt’s former mufti, or chief Muslim theologian, and an aide to the country’s top prosecutor.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s attack.

Security forces

Security forces examine the scene inside the St. Mark Cathedral in central Cairo, following a bombing, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

However, Islamic militants have targeted Christians in the past, including a New Year’s Day bombing at a church in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in 2011 that killed at least 21 people.

More recently, the local affiliate of the Islamic State group targeted Christians in the Sinai Peninsula, where the extremist group is waging attacks against security forces.

Christians endured a wave of attacks against their property and churches in provinces south of Cairo in the weeks and months that followed the July 2013 ouster by the military of an Islamist president.

Egypt’s official MENA news agency said an assailant lobbed a bomb into a chapel close to the outer wall of St Mark’s Cathedral, seat of Egypt’s Orthodox Christian church and home to the office of its spiritual leader, Pope Tawadros II, who is currently visiting Greece.

banner with Arabic that reads, "no to terrorism,"

Coptic Christians hold a banner with Arabic that reads, “no to terrorism,” during a protest outside the St. Mark Cathedral in central Cairo, following a deadly bombing, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Story by The Associated Press