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43 die in Coptic churches bombing in Egypt as Christians observed Palm Sunday: Islamic State (ISIS) claims attack

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Blast at Cairo Coptic Cathedral Complex, VOA
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Cairo, April 9, 2017: At least 43 people were killed and 100 injured in two separate bomb attacks carried out by the Islamic State on Coptic churches in Egypt as the Christian faithful observed Palm Sunday, one of the most important days on the religion’s calendar.

The first explosion, which left 27 dead and 78 injured, ripped through a Palm Sunday service at Mar Girgis (St. George’s) Coptic church in Tanta, a city located 120 km from Cairo, EFE news reported.

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The explosive device was planted under a seat in the church and was detonated in the main prayer hall.

A short time later, a suicide bomb attack outside Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria killed 16 and injured 41 people, according to a Health Ministry statement.

In a brief statement released through official news agency Amaq, the Islamic State claimed that the attack had been launched by a “security unit belonging to the Islamic State”.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail condemned the attacks on private television channel On TV, adding that the government was determined to end terrorism in the country.

“This is an impious terrorist act, but we will eradicate terrorism from Egypt and we are determined to put an end to terrorist groups,” EFE news quoted Ismail as saying.

Copts, who make up around 15 per cent of Egypt’s population, were celebrating Palm Sunday, which marks the start of the Holy Week for Christians.

This attack comes 20 days before the visit of Pope Francis, who is set to travel to Egypt on April 28.

The Pope condemned the attack and publicly prayed for converting the hearts of those who “sow terror, violence and death”.

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The pontiff was addressing the faithful during the traditional Palm Sunday mass at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City when he was notified of the attack.

He offered his condolences to the victims’ families, to those injured and to all Egyptians.

Over the past few years, Egypt is struggling to combat a terrorist wave that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military removed former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and blacklisted his Muslim Brotherhood group as “terrorist organisation”.

The terror attacks, mostly claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the IS, has recently been targeting Egypt’s Christian minority and a previous church blast in Cairo in December 2016 left at least 28 worshippers dead, mostly women and children.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian security forces killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested a similar number of suspects as part of the country’s “anti-terror war” declared by former army chief and current President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi following Morsi’s ouster. (IANS)

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Two ancient Tombs discovered at Luxor, Egypt

Egypt's antiquated history now has two more tombs to boast of

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Two ancient tombs discovered at Luxor, Egypt
Two ancient tombs have been discovered at Luxor, Egypt, Image Source: VOA News

Egypt is extremely popular for its sanctuaries and tombs traversing diverse traditions of antiquated Egyptian history and now the tombs in Luxor adds one more feather to Egypt’s beauty. The popularity of the Egyptian pyramids dates back to the three massive tombs of the Fourth Dynasty. Tombs and pyramids have always appeared fascinating in movies and stories with some intriguing facts and discoveries.

Egypt’s latest discovery to boost tourism, Image Source: VOA News
  • Located on the east bank of the Nile River, Luxor is a city in Southern Egypt. Recently, two small ancient tombs have been discovered in this city dating back to some 3,500 years. Situated on the west bank of the river Nile, the tombs are the freshest disclosure in the city.
  • Since the beginning of 2017, the Antiquities Ministry has made a series of disclosures in a few areas crosswise over Egypt including Luxor city — including the tomb of a regal goldsmith, in a similar territory and having a place with a similar line, whose work was devoted to the old Egyptian God Amun.
  • According to the ministry, one of the tombs has a courtyard lined with mud-brick and stone walls containing a six-meter yard prompting four side chambers. They further said the artefacts found inside were mostly fragments of wooden coffins. The paintings and wall inscriptions further advocate the origin of the tombs to the era between the reigns of King Amenhotep II and King Thutmose IV, the two monarchs of the 18th dynasty.
  • The other tomb consists of five entrances prompting a rectangular corridor containing two burial shafts situated in the southern and northern sides of the tomb.
Archaeologist works on repairing masks discovered in the tombs, Image Source: Quartz

The ministry further stated, among the relics found inside are funerary cones, painted wooden funerary covers, dirt vessels, a gathering of approximately 450 statues and a mummy wrapped in material who was likely the best. A cartouche cut on the roof bears the name of King Thutmose I of the mid-eighteenth line.

Antiques Minister, Khaled al-Anani said, it is truly an exceptional day as the private tombs from the 18th dynasty are quite familiar but this is the first time to enter inside these tombs.

Al-Anani said the revelations are a piece of the service’s endeavours to advance Egypt’s essential tourism industry, somewhat determined by artefacts touring, that was hit hard by fanatic assaults and political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

Al-Anani then headed to an adjacent site where the renowned Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is situated to open out of the blue the sanctuary’s primary asylum known as the “Holy of Holies.”

This news is sure to evoke a range of excitement among people worldwide. It would be right to say that Egypt has excavated two more sites for onlookers to explore and experience!