Egypt's military holds Easter service for victims of Palm Sunday bombings

Ahram Online , Sunday 16 Apr 2017

Easter Prayer Service
An Egyptian Priest leads Saturday Easter prayer service for the injured at Al-Galaa Military Hospital (Photo Screencap from video released by Egypt army spokesman Youtube page)

The Egyptian armed forces held Easter prayer services on Saturday for those injured in the Palm Sunday bombings and their families, according to armed forces spokesman Tamer El-Refai.

The spokesman posted a six-minute video of one of the prayer services, which were held in Al-Galaa Military Hospital and Maadi Military Hospital.

The services were attended those injured in the blasts and now receiving treatment in the two military facilities, along with their families.

Coptic Orthodox Christians began their Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, which fell this year on 15 April. The Vigil was broken as dawn on Easter Sunday, when worshippers celebrated the Resurrection.

This year, the Coptic Orthodox Church announced the cancellation of Easter celebrations across the country, limiting Saturday night masses to prayer services, with a reception for mourners on Sunday.

This comes nearly a week after twin suicide bombings hit St George's Cathedral in Tanta and St Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria on Palm Sunday, killing at least 46 people and injuring dozens.

On Saturday, Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II led the prayers at Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope, with tight security measures nationwide as Easter began.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi extended his felicitations to the Pope, delegating several presidential secretaries to attend the mass.

Last Thursday, El-Sisi told Pope Tawadros II during a meeting that Egypt will exert maximum efforts to catch those involved in the Palm Sunday bombings, saying that he is confident that Egyptians are aware of who is behind terrorism in the country and their intention of dividing the nation and undermining its development.

Egyptian authorities have identified the two suicide bombers and the terrorist cells responsible for the deadly attacks.

Cairo imposed a nationwise three-month state of emergency after the attacks, with the option of extending it for a further three months on a vote from parliament.

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