At least 21 people were killed and 40 others injured today in a powerful bomb blast inside a church in the Egyptian Nile delta city of Tanta, officials said. The explosion took place in Mar Gerges Coptic church in Tanta, about 120 kilometres from Cairo, said an undersecretary of Health Ministry in Gharbiya governorate. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has ordered the opening of military hospitals to receive the injured. At least 21 people have been killed and 40 others injured, an official said, adding that 26 ambulances were sent to the spot. Death toll is expected to rise, officials said.
Sources said that the explosion took place inside the Mar Gerges Coptic Church. The primary investigations suggest that a person put an explosive device inside the church during the Christian prayers celebrating the Palm Sunday, the sources said. Egypt’s Christian minority has often been targeted by Islamist militants. Egypt has seen a wave of attacks by militants since 2013 when the military overthrew president Mohammed Morsi, an elected leader who hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood, and launched a crackdown against Islamists.
Palm Sunday falls on Sunday before the Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels. Coptic Christians make up about 10 per cent of Egypt’s population of 85 million