At least 25 were killed in a bomb blast during Sunday mass inside a Cairo church near the main Coptic Christian cathedral.
The explosion ripped through St Peter’s Church at around 10:00am local time, wounding at least another 35 people, according to Egyptian security officials.
St Peter’s Church is beside St Mark’s Cathedral, which is the seat of Egypt’s Orthodox Christian church and is home to the office of its spiritual leader, Pope Tawadros II.
A state-run news agency reported that a bomb was lobbed inside the church, though the AP news agency cited witnesses saying the bomb was planted inside the building itself.
The presidency declared national mourning after the attack. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi described the bombing as a “terrorist act” that has no place in Egypt.
According to Mohamad Elmasry, an associate professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, the “barbaric attack against Coptic Christians is not an aberration”.
“[The attack] represents the continuation of a cycle of violence that has continued unabated since Egypt’s July 2013 military coup,” Elmasry said.