This is where I’ll provide rolling coverage, as far as I can glean it, about the bombing of the Papal Cathedral in Cairo. I hope to offer facts both about the extent and nature of the deaths, the response of the Egyptian Government, and its religious authorities- the Coptic Orthodox Church and Al Azhar mosque, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning.
I’ll be providing source material from Twitter, Christian Youth Channel, the English News service of the Coptic Orthodox Church and other online news sources.
Tue 13 Dec
Watching live stream of Coptic Youth Channel coverage of Egypt blast.
Mon 12 Dec
Watching live stream of funeral for victims of terrorist attack of the church St. Peter and St. Paul at the Church of Saints Mary and Athanasius. Rows of coffins seem endless. Mournful wailing of the survivors can be heard throughout liturgy. Watch below.
5pm AEDT time
- Responsibility for the crime might have been claimed by Tanzim Al-Jihad, a group which has also claimed responsibility for the assassination of President Sadat (this is pending confirmation.)
The group — called “Hasm,” or “Decisiveness” — which attacked Egypt’s police on Friday has distanced itself from Sunday’s attack on the church in a statement that said it does ‘not as a principle kill women, children, the elderly or worshippers.
The Brotherhood, in a separate statement, condemned the attack.
-Update from MARIAM FAM AND HAMZA HENDAWI, ASSOCIATED PRESS, Dec 11
Those gathered outside church expressed their anger by chanting against the interior minister and expelling well know state media figures, who were attempting to report on the incident, from their midst. Others rushed to Demerdash Hospital to donate blood that will be used to treat victims.
-Update from Independent Egyptian media source, Mada Masr, from Dec 11 2016 reports protests in the immediate aftermath of bombing.
Pope Francis referred to the attack in his Sunday Angelus address, saying “I want to express my special closeness to my dear brother, Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and to his community, praying for the dead and injured.”
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. 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.
-Update from Associated Press from Dec 11 2016
12pm AEDT time
Dahlia Kholaif, of the Wall Street Journal, reports
Full report here .
A video response created by Christian Youth Channel, the English News service of the Coptic Orthodox Church, below.
More to come…