TIME

BREAKING;Death tollrises to 21 as deadly explosion rocks Egyptian church on palm sunday

- An explosion has hit an Egyptian church



- At teast 13 people were reportedly killed while celebrating Easter Sunday



- 42 others were wounded



Death toll has risen to 21 in an explosion that rocked a Coptic

Christian church in northern Egypt during a service to celebrate Palm

Sunday, state television reported.



CNN reports that an additional 50 others were wounded in the blast at

St. George (Mar Girgis) Coptic church in Tanta.



CAMPUSNAIJA.info gathered that the explosive device was planted under

a seat in the church, where it detonated in the main prayer hall.





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"Terrorism hits Egypt again, this time on Palm Sunday. Another

obnoxious but failed attempt against all Egyptians," the foreign

affairs ministry tweeted.



Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, and marks the start of Holy

Week for Christians.



Social media video showed crowds gathered outside the church shortly

after the attack.



While it's unclear who attacked the church Sunday, Copts face

persecution and discrimination that has spiked since the toppling of

Hosni Mubarak's regime in 2011.

Dozens have been killed in sectarian clashes. In December, an attack

at a Coptic church in Cairo killed 25 people.



"Coptic churches and homes have been set on fire, members of the

Coptic minority have been physically attacked, and their property has

been looted," rights group Amnesty International reported in March.

After initial reports of 13 dead, an Egyptian official said the death

toll had risen to 21.



The blast struck at the Mar Girgis Coptic Church in the Nile Delta

city of Tanta, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Cairo, just

before 10:00 am local time (0800 GMT), state television reported.

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