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At least 37 people have been killed in Islamic State bomb attacks on Egyptian churches

IS were targeting Coptic Christians.

Islamic State attacks on two Egyptian churches have left at least 37 people dead and dozens wounded.

Both attacks targeted Coptic Christians – 26 were killed in Tanta and 11 died in a second attack in Alexandria.

Egypt’s Health Ministry said the second explosion went off at Saint Mark’s Church, where Pope Tawadros II had earlier been attending mass.

Both attacks occurred on Palm Sunday, one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar, as followers of the faith prepare for the Easter week ahead.

Relatives and onlookers gather outside a church after a bomb attack in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, Egypt
(Ahmed Hatem/AP)

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks via its Aamaq news agency.

Pope Francis condemned the bombings, expressing “deep condolences to my brother, Pope Tawadros II, the Coptic church and all of the dear Egyptian nation”.

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