ISIS took responsibility for Palm Sunday terror attacks; Almost 50 killed

At least 30 people were killed in an explosion at a Coptic Christian church in Tanta, Egypt. Hours later, another explosion was reported at a Christian church in Alexandria and the footage of the first blast was released. At least 11 were killed and 33 others were injured. ISIS took responsibility for both terror attacks.

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Hours after the deadly blast at a Coptic Christian church in Tanta, Egypt, which claimed the lives of at least 30 people, another explosion occurred in front of a church in Alexandria. According to various news agencies, at least 11 people were killed and 33 more were injured in the second blast. ISIS took responisbility for both terror attacks, the deadliest the terror group implemented on Egyptian soil. 

Shortly after the blast in Alexandria, the disturbing footage of the first blast was released. In the footage, the church choir members are seen singing during the Palm Sunday service when suddenly one hears a loud explosion and the screen darkens.  Shortly after the second explosion, another bomb was found outside the church.    

St. George Coptic Church today Photo Credit: EPA/Channel 2 News

Several reports are citing an Egyptian security official who stated that a suicide bomber blew himself up in the church. However, other reports claim that a bomb was planted at the entrance to the church. The Egyptian Health Ministry spokesperson confirmed the explosion in an interview with CBS.

The incident occurred inside Saint George's Coptic Church in the city during Palm Sunday celebrations, a Christian holiday right before Easter. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the families and wished the wounded a speedy recovery: "The world must unite and fight terrorism in every place." Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely added: "Terror doesn't stop in Stockholm, Saint Petersburg, Berlin, London or Jerusalem. Today's terror attack near Cairo reminds us that Egypt too is under attack. Alongside the sorrow and grief, we need to join forces against the forces of evil and terror with an iron fist. Israel is part of the international campaign against terror wherever it strikes and is ready to assist in order to rein it in."

The terror attack today was the latest in a series that targeted the Christian minority within Egypt, who constitute 10 percent of the population. It also came several weeks before Pope Francis plans to visit the country. The pope condemned the terror attack, stressing that he is praying for the victims.

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