Egypt on Sunday declared three days of mourning after a bombing at a chapel adjacent to Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral killed 25 people and wounded another 49.
Egypt’s state-run news agency Mena reported that 12 kilograms of TNT explosives were used in the attack. The majority of those killed were women and children.
In a statement, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi encouraged Muslims and Coptic Christians to come together “to emerge victorious in the war against terrorism.
He stressed that the government would be harsh in its response to the attack, one of the deadliest carried out against the religious minority in recent years.
No one has claimed of responsibility for the attack.
As the death toll rose and nearby hospitals called for blood donations, there was grief and anger in the streets. Hundreds of people crowded outside the cathedral, including a large crowd of young men who made clear their complaints against conservative Muslim groups, Egypt’s ministry of the interior and even the president.
The Egyptian government has staked its mandate on the fight against Islamist groups as well as the Sinai chapter of Islamic State. Protecting the minority Christian population is the cornerstone of this pledge, but Sunday’s attack caused some to question whether the government is living up to its promise to provide security to all Egyptians.
The troubled lives of Egypt’s Coptic Christians https://t.co/Bg0RBL0uDy— Mina Zekri (@minazekri) December 12, 2016
Egypt has witnessed a rise in attacks by Islamist groups including those affiliated to Isis since the overthrow of former Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.