25 killed in Cairo Coptic cathedral bombing

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for a bomb blast at Cairo's main Coptic Christian cathedral which killed at least 25 people, mostly women, and injured nearly 50 others.
The attack happened as worshippers were attending Sunday Mass.
The attack happened as worshippers were attending Sunday Mass.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

CAIRO • A bombing at Cairo's largest Coptic cathedral killed at least 25 people and wounded 49, many of them women and children attending Sunday Mass, in the deadliest attack on Egypt's Christian minority in years.

Singapore strongly condemned the bomb attack at St Mark's Coptic Cathedral complex, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) lamenting "the loss of innocent lives and injuries to many" in a statement yesterday.

"Those responsible must be brought to justice. We stand in solidarity with the Egyptian government and its people during this difficult period," the statement issued by an MFA spokesman said.

The statement also conveyed Singapore's deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

"The Singapore Embassy in Cairo has been in touch with the Singaporean community in Cairo and the local Egyptian authorities. Thus far, there are no reports of any Singaporeans directly affected by the incident," the statement said.

The statement also advised Singaporeans in Egypt to exercise vigilance and monitor the local news, as well as follow the instructions of the Egyptian authorities.

The explosion took place in a chapel which adjoins St Mark's, Cairo's main cathedral and the seat of Coptic Pope Tawadros II, where security is normally tight.

The attack comes as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi fights battles on several fronts. His economic reforms have angered the poor, a bloody crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has seen thousands jailed, while an insurgency rages in Northern Sinai, led by the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but exiled Brotherhood officials and home-grown militant groups condemned the attack.

Bombings also occurred in two other African countries yesterday. In one attack, two girls blew themselves up in a market in north-eastern Nigeria, killing themselves and wounding at least 17 others, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, in Somalia, a truck bomb hit the entrance of its biggest port in Mogadishu yesterday, killing at least 29 people.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline '25 killed in Cairo Coptic cathedral bombing'. Print Edition | Subscribe