A bombing near the Coptic cathedral in the Egyptian capital Cairo has killed at least 25 people,
Dozens of others were injured in the blast at St Peter’s church during a Sunday church service.
The church is adjacent to St Mark’s cathedral, within the same complex. Photos and video footage showed damage to the church, with shattered windows and broken roofing.
At around 10:00 (08:00 GMT) on Sunday, the explosion happened.
Video sourced by regional media appeared to show the church littered with broken and scattered items, along with alot of blood and on the floor.
“I saw a headless woman being carried away,” one eyewitness told the Associated Press. “Everyone was in a state of shock.”
“There were children. What have they done to deserve this? I wish I had died with them instead of seeing these scenes,” she said.
Egypt’s Coptic Christians
are about 10% of the country’s population.
St Mark’s Cathedral, whose leader is Pope Tawadros II,is the main headquarters of the country’s Orthodox church.
At around lunch, a crowd of protesters had gathered outside the cathedral complex. Police kept the area cut off.
Six policemen were killed when a bomb exploded on a main road leading to the pyramids at Giza, this Saturday. The attack, was the deadliest attack on security forces in Cairo in over six months.
Hasm, recently formed militant group, said it was responsible for the attack.
Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority have complained of religious discrimination in the mainly Muslim nation.
in 2013 two people were butchered in front of St Mark’s cathedral, when people mourning the death of four Coptic Christians killed in religious violence clashed with local residents.
A court sentenced three Christian teenagers to five years in prison for offense of the Islam. The teenagers had appeared in a video, apparently mocking Muslim prayers, but they claimed they had been insulting the Islamic State group following a number of beheadings.
Egypt has pursued a number of desecration cases since the country’s 2011 uprising. Many of those cases have been against Coptic Christians.
The government of President Sissi came to power following the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi in 2013. It outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, and has been battling insurgent Islamic groups ever since.
Most of the militant attacks have been focused in the Sinai province,where an IS-linked jihadist group is active, but Cairo has also suffered a string of attacks in the past two years.