A bombing at a chapel adjacent to Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral killed 25 people and wounded another 49 during Sunday Mass, one of the deadliest attacks carried out against the religious minority in recent memory and a grim reminder of Egypt’s difficult struggle to restore security and stability after nearly six years of turmoil.
Fox News reports:
“The attack came two days after a bomb elsewhere in Cairo killed six policemen, an assault claimed by a shadowy group that authorities say is linked to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. That group — called “Hasm,” or “Decisiveness” — distanced itself from the attack in a statement issued Sunday night, saying it does not as a principle kill women, children, the elderly or worshippers.
The statement, at least in theory, leaves the extremist Islamic State group or like-minded independent militants as the chief suspects.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s attack. However, Islamic militants have targeted Christians in the past, including a New Year’s Day bombing at a church in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in 2011 that killed at least 21 people. More recently, churches and Christian property in southern Egypt were targeted in the aftermath of the military’s July 2013 ouster of an Islamist president. Those were blamed on Brotherhood supporters and ultraorthodox Salafi Muslims.”
Most of the victims are reported to have been women and children.