St. Peter's church bombing targeted Egyptians, not only Christians: Coptic Pope

Ahram Online , Monday 23 Jan 2017

Pope Tawadros presiding prayer at the Cairo Cathedral St. Peter and St. Paul's Church during the 40 days memorial service on Monday (Photo: Facebook)

Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, said Monday during a memorial service for the victims of December's St. Peter and St. Paul's Church bombing that the terrorist attack targeted all Egyptians — not only the Coptic Church or the Christian community.

Monday's service was held at the church where the attack took place to mark 40 days of mourning for the victims.

In his remarks, the religious leader expressed gratitude for the condolences and solidarity of all Egyptians for the victims and the Church, emphasising that all citizens felt the devastation of the attack.

He also thanked Egypt's president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and state officials for their condolences to the families of the victims. 

Cairo's St. Peter and St. Paul's Church reported earlier this month that the death toll from the bombing had risen to 28, following the death of a 60-year-old woman injured in the blast.

On 11 December, A suicide bomber, identified as 22-year-old Egyptian national Mahmoud Shafiq Mohamed Mostafa, set off explosives in the women’s section of St. Peter and St. Paul's church in Cairo, killing 23 people instantly, mostly women and children, and wounding over 40 others.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, whereas Egypt's interior ministry accused members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood organisation residing in Qatar of plotting the bombing.

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