Terrorists previously attempted to attack in Tanta
The blast that occurred on Sunday at Mar Girguis church in Tanta was not the first attempted terrorist attack, as a similar planned attack failed 12 days ago.
Security services defused a bomb in the same church on March 29 after reports indicated that there was a bomb inside the church, located on Ali Mubarak street. The two-way street was blocked until explosive experts were able to defuse the bomb; there were no casualties.
Sources from the church said on Sunday that another bomb was found next to the church a few days ago. Experts were able to defuse the bomb after it was noticed on surveillance cameras.
Tighter security measures are being carried out in the wake of the blast at the meantime. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered for the injured to be treated at armed forces hospitals.
The explosions followed a number of attacks by Islamic State militants targeting Egypt's minority Christians. And on Sunday, the group claimed responsibility for both bombings. An online statement shared by sympathizers and attributed to the militants said: "A security detachment of the Islamic State carried out the attacks against the two churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria." The bombings happened weeks before Pope Francis was to visit Egypt, and a week before Easter.
The second attack took place while worshipers at St. Mark's were leaving at the end of Palm Sunday Mass. The service had been led by the Coptic pope, Tawadros II. The pope had already left when the explosion happened.
A security official told the state news agency they believed the blast had been caused by an explosive device planted inside the church. After the first blast, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi ordered military hospitals to treat the injured, Sky News Arabia reported.
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