Islamic State claims responsibility for bomb blasts in Egyptian churches

The Islamic State (IS) has announced it was behind the two bomb blasts that rocked two Coptic churches in Egypt as worshippers gathered to celebrate Palm Sunday.

The first blast occurred inside the church near the altar at St. George’s Coptic Church in Tanta, a town 94km north of Cairo, killing 29 people. Security forces later found two additional explosive devices at the Sidi Abdel Rahim Mosque, also in Tanta. The number of people injured from the blast in St. George’s Coptic Church is said to be 71.

The second blast was outside the St. Mark’s Coptic Church in Alexandria, which left 13 people dead and 35 others injured.

Four police officers were among those caught in the blasts in Alexandria as they tried to prevent the suicide bomber from entering the church.