A suicide bomber was responsible for the bombing attack in a Coptic Christian Church in Cairo that killed 24 others and injured dozens including women and children in the middle of a mass service Sunday.
No less than Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made the announcement Monday with what could be described as the deadliest attack on Christians in the country in recent years. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing attack. Christians are angrily demanding for justice.
"The attack brought us great pain but we will never be torn apart," he said. "We will only be much stronger. We will hold steadfast and, God willing, we will succeed," said Sisi, during his speech at a state funeral for the victims. The total dead count was 25, including the bomber himself who wore a bomb vest which was detonated inside the church in which the area is usually reserved for women.
The Cairo church bomb incident occurred around 10am Sunday while services were being conducted in one of the adjoining chapels of the St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo- the seat of the Coptic papacy in Egypt.
Authorities have in custody four suspects who may have been responsible for aiding the bomber to carry out the attack. They are also looking for two other persons of interests, one of which is a female who may also be able to shed light on the church bomb attack.
No less than 26 pounds of TNT were believed to have been strapped into the vest of the suicide bomber determined by the impact of the explosion. The suspect was identified as 22-year old Mahmoud Shafik Mohemed Mostafa alias Aby Dajjana al-Kanani from the southern Cairo town of Fayyoum.
Three of the suspects in police custody were believed to hail from Fayyoum and the other one is from the Matariya suburb in Cairo. The two areas are reputed to have strong alliances with the Muslim Brotherhood groups.
The Christian community and devout church followers strongly condemned the attack, saying that the Church bomb attack was not just an attack on the Christian faith, but an attack on the entire Egyptian nation as well, according to Coptic Pope Tawadros II.
"Those who commit acts such as this do not belong to Egypt at all, even if they are on its land," the Pope said. He adds that he is hoping this incident will not provoke sectarian clashes and urges the public to continue to pray for peace.
Crowds of Christians and supporters have been mounting protests, claiming that the security officers failed to do their jobs in preventing incidents like this, alluding to why the suicide bomber was able to penetrate security checks and was able to get inside the church to carry out the suicide bombing attack.
Copts make up a tenth of the 90 million population of Egypt and is considered to be the largest Christian community in the Middle East.