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Thousands protest over Cairo church bombing

12 December 2016 16:48



Thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets in the capital Cairo, protesting against the government after a bombing attack on the city’s Coptic Cathedral killed many worshipers.

The protesters marched on the streets and hundreds of them gathered near the targeted Coptic Cathedral in the Abbasia district of Cairo on Sunday.

They demanded justice for the victims of the attack, which occurred during Sunday mass and killed at least 25 people, among them women and children.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail arrived at the site of the attack shortly after it took place. Angry protesters started hurling insults at him, accusing officials of negligence.

One protester said there had been no security at the gate of the Church, and that security staffers “were all having breakfast inside their van” when the bombing occurred.

Police moved in to contain the crowd as Ismail visited the site.

Protesters clash with riot police in front of Cairo’s Coptic Cathedral after a bombing attack, December 11, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

The protesters shouted “leave, leave, leave” as high-ranking security officials escorted Minister of Interior Major Magdy Ibrahim along a road. Police and armored vehicles were deployed to the scene.

“As long as Egyptian blood is cheap, down with any president,” and “The people demand the fall of the regime,” the protesters chanted.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has condemned the attack and promised justice. He has also declared three days of mourning.

Egyptian security forces (C) inspect the scene of a bomb explosion at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church, in Cairo, December 11, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

“Vicious terrorism is being waged against the country’s Copts and Muslims. Egypt will emerge stronger and more united from this situation,” the Egyptian president said after the attack.

Exiled Muslim Brotherhood officials also condemned the bombing on the Coptic church. Church officials have said they would not allow the bombing to trigger sectarian turmoil.

Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 90 million.

The last major attack on a church in Egypt took place in Alexandria weeks before the start of a 2011 uprising and killed at least 21 people.

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