Trump speaks with Egyptian president on church bombings

Pope undeterred by Egypt church bombings; to go ahead with Egypt visit

Video has surfaced on YouTube of the Tanta Coptic Church in the seconds before the attack, which you can view below.

A veiled Egyptian woman stands in front of a poster of Pope Francis at a news conference ahead of the pope's visit in Cairo, Egypt April 6, 2017.

El-Sissi's call for a three-month state of emergency has been approved by Egypt's cabinet and will come into effect across the country on Monday at 1pm.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared that a three-month state of emergency would be imposed, pending parliamentary approval. It can not exceed six months. In December 2016, another bombing claimed by IS terrorists killed 30 people at the main Coptic cathedral in Cairo.

The blast tore through nearby storefronts, he said.

"There was a clear lapse in security, which must be tightened from now on to save lives", he told The Associated Press.

The attacks have raised concerns regarding the performance of the security forces, namely the Ministry of Interior, as these were not the first attacks on churches during holy celebrations.

At least 17 people were killed at St. Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt. Security footage appeared to show a security officer direct a man who was seeking entry into the cathedral to go through a metal detector.

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The first blast ripped through a Palm Sunday service at St. George's Church in Tanta, killing at least 27 and wounding 78 others, state TV reported.

In his prayers for those affected by the attacks, the pope also expressed his deepest condolences to "my dear brother, His Holiness Pope Tawadros, the Coptic church and the entire beloved Egyptian nation", which the pope was scheduled to visit April 28-29.

He said while classes went on as usual, they were advised not to go near St Mark Church and other churches in Alexandria. Youssef, who suffered only an injured ear, later found his wife at home, with burns to her face.

The attacks left at least 43 dead and dozens more injured, amid grim scenes of hollowed-out churches, with body parts and blood scattered among the debris.

He said attacks like the ones Sunday do not deter Coptic Christians.

In a White House statement, Trump called the attack "heinous".

President el-Sissi held an emergency meeting at the National Defence Council while saying the attacks would only strengthen the country against "evil forces".

Regional police chief Brig.

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Last week Trump hosted Sisi at the White House, signaling a break from the previous United States administration's view of the former general.

Sisi met Saturday with a US congressional delegation led by US Rep. Darrell Issa, the Egyptian government said.

"So sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. U.S. strongly condemns".

Both Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement ruling neighboring Gaza condemned the bombings as well. A statement attributed to IS claimed responsibility for the violence, and promised more attacks on the ancient Christian community. The militants recently vowed to step up attacks against Christians, whom they regard as infidels.

"We can't understand what happened yesterday without understanding the atmosphere that has encouraged militancy in Egypt".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also condemned the attacks in Egypt.

The Coptic Church is one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East, and its members make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population. Security at churches is routinely increased around religious holidays.

Egypt had been ruled for decades under a state of emergency, which was cancelled a month before Islamist president Mohamed Morsi took power in 2012. When we realised that it was a bomb explosion, we gathered and stayed in our rooms until calm returned.

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