I do not believe I have to write yet another post on a Coptic massacre – but it seems this is the case. On April 9th, 2017, as Copts went to their churches in Egypt waving their palm leaves to celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of Passion Week, at 9.05 am two bombs went off – one in the St. George Church in Tanta, and the second in the St. Mark Church in Alexandria where the Coptic Pope had just finished prayers and had stepped out for a break. The St. Mark bomb was placed inside the altar where the Pope should have been. The majority of the deacons died in the blast as they sang the liturgy. No one still knows where the Tanta bomb was placed, but there are allegations that it exploded at the entrance of the church by a suicide bomber even though the damage inside the church was massive. The initial count of the total number of deaths was 45 [later increased to 50] and the injured 126, among them 10 in critical condition.
It should be noted that the one week before the attacks, there was a bomb that was defused inside the same church in Tanta, which meant security was on high alert that day [or should have been].
This video shows seconds before the explosion with the deacons singing and then the blast in the St. George Church in Tanta:
While every victim has a heart-breaking story, the one that is totally heart-wrenching is that of 2 year old Lucinda who died, and her mother Randa who is currently hospitalized. They will forever remain etched in my memory and my heart.
Video of the immediate aftermath with Lucinda face down on the ground and her mother staring at her in shock. Lucinda and her mother [warning: graphic]
Another child, Angelina, also from the Alexandria church, is in critical condition in the hospital.
And Juliana recovering beautifully
The Pope collapsed in shock and deep sadness after the incident and the Orthodox Church issued a statement denouncing terrorism and giving condolences to the families of the victims.
Who is to blame or what is beside the point in this initial post on the topic. The following are pictures and videos of the carnage that tell their own story.
Moments before the attack, Copts were celebrating on their way to church – children in brand new clothes waving their carefully designed palm leaves [pictures from Mada Masr]:
The carnage in Tanta
- Video of the aftermath in Tanta [extremely graphic]
- Blood everywhere in Tanta church
- People yell at Bishop Bola after he stood among them and thanked the ministers and governors.
- People attack and beat the Gharbeya governorate police chief in Tanta upon his arrival.
- Tanta church priest explains how the terrorist got inside the church.
- Father Daniel narrates how he saw his son, the deacon, dead.
The carnage in Alexandria
Video of the carnage in Alexandria outside the church:
- Video of the aftermath inside the church [warning: graphic]
- Video of the immediate aftermath in Alexandria outside the church.
- Another video of the immediate aftermath in Alexandria.
- Testimony of wife of Neseem Fahim asking for forgiveness for the terrorists.
The victims [officers and young soldiers guarding the church]
The victims inside the churches [the following are only some of the known victims]
Palm Leaves soaked in blood:
Images of the carnage in both Alexandria and Tanta:
[warning some of the images are extremely graphic]
Vigils held at night and blood donations: