Terrorist attack near the Coptic cathedral in Cairo. At least 25 dead and dozens wounded

The explosion took place in St Peter's Church, during the liturgy. A witness: Bodies and blood, as well as destruction. No claim for the moment.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - A bomb exploded this morning in the vicinity of the Coptic cathedral in the Egyptian capital, killing at least 25 people and wounding 50.

The bomb exploded in the small chapel of St. Peter, adjacent to the cathedral of St. Mark, the seat of the Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, who is currently in Greece on a pastoral visit.

During the Mass, the faithful heard the explosion and saw flying shreds of bodies and blood coming from the women’s side, who generally sit in the right area of ​​the church.

Kamel Hanna a witness says that at least 10 women died on the spot. "We were about to pray when the explosion occurred. My friends and I were outside because the church was full of faithful. There was blood everywhere".

Interior Minister Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar visited the site, marked by rubble, broken glass, doors and windows, blood and shreds of clothes everywhere.

So far no one has claimed the attack.

Egypt has long been subject to terrorist attacks. Two days ago in Giza six policemen were killed at a checkpoint by a group close to the Muslim Brotherhood. In Sinai there have been successive killings of police, but also civilians and Christian faithful at the hands of groups linked to the Islamic State.

The Christian community (10% of the majority Muslim population) suffers from decades of discrimination and violence, which has intensified after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi from power by the former General Abdel Fattah Al Sissi. Morsi is a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

This morning’s is one of the most serious attacks on the Coptic Christian community. During celebration’s of the Coptic Christmas, January 1, 2011, in Alexandria, a terrorist attack killed 21 people and wounded 70.

(With the collaboration Loula Laham)