Copts commemorate Palm Sunday victims

Cairo: Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church Tawadros II on Sunday paid homage to victims of deadly twin bombings that targeted two churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday last year.

“While celebrating today, we remember martyrs of the Palm Sunday last year in [cities of] Alexandria and Tanta,” Pope Tawadros said at a Mass service in the Virgin Mary Church in Egypt’s Northern Coast.

“We remember them well while they pray for us in the heaven,” he added.

On April 9, 48 people were killed when two suicide bombers attacked two Coptic churches in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Delta province of Tanta on Palm Sunday.

The attacks, claimed by terrorist Daesh, prompted Egypt to declare a state of emergency.

Copts on Sunday celebrated Palm Sunday amid tight security around churches across Egypt.

Palm Sunday marks the start of the Holy Week leading to Easter that falls on April 8 this year.

Copts make up the majority of Egypt’s Christian minority.

Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian Christians since 2013 when the army, led by incumbent President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi, deposed Islamist president Mohammad Mursi following enormous street protests against his rule.

Egyptian Christians are staunch supporters of Al Sissi, who is set to start a second term in June following his sweeping win in elections held last week.

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