This is the moment an ISIS suicide bomber detonated outside an Egyptian church after being turned away by three hero policemen in the second of two attacks that killed 43 Catholics and wounded 100.
CCTV shows the Muslim terrorist, dressed in a blue pullover, approaching the gate at St Mark’s in Alexandria but being told to go through the metal detector first by the officers. He then passes a female police officer chatting to another woman, and enters a metal detector before an explosion engulfs the area.
The atrocity, which followed another attack in Tanta, was thought to have been aimed at Pope Tawadros II, leader of the ancient Coptic church, who was worshipping in St Mark’s at the time but escaped unharmed.
The blasts, claimed by Islamic State, came at the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter, and just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit the Arab world’s most populous country.
ISIS claims responsibility for church bombings in Egypt
In the first attack, a bomb went off inside St. George’s Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, killing at least 27 people and wounding 78, officials said.
The attack on St. Mark’s Cathedral, in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, happened a few hours later and killed at least 16 people and wounding 41, the Interior Ministry said.
ISIS claimed the attacks via its Aamaq news agency, after having recently warned that it would step up violence against Egypt’s Coptic Catholics.
CBC TV showed footage from inside the church in Tanta, where people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers.
‘After the explosion, everything became dark from the smoke,’ said Edmond Edward, attending services with his brother, Emil, who was wounded and leaned on him for support at a nearby hospital.
‘There was a clear lapse in security, which must be tightened from now on to save lives,’ he said. He added that the blast appeared to be centered near the altar and that the priest leading the service, Father Daniel, was wounded.
Susan Mikhail, whose apartment balcony across the street has a clear view of the church and its front yard, said the explosion violently shook her building.
‘Deacons were the first to run out of the church. Many of them had blood on their white robes,’ she said.
Later, the more seriously wounded were carried out by other survivors and taken to hospitals in private cars, she said. Hundreds of residents gathered in the area, and church members blocked people – including journalists – from entering the church as police cordoned off the area. source
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