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World

Egypt Coptic church blast ‘kills at least 13’ in Nile Delta

At least 13 people have been killed in an explosion at a church in northern Egypt, state media say.

The blast targeted St George’s Coptic church in the city of Tanta in the Nile Delta.

A number of television channels said at least 40 people had been injured in the Palm Sunday attack.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known but Egypt’s Christian minority has often been targeted by Islamist militants in recent years.

In December last year, 25 people died when a bomb exploded at the Coptic cathedral in Cairo during a service.

Cairo’s Coptic Cathedral was damaged by an explosion in December

Violence against Coptic Christians has risen in recent years, especially since 2013, when the military overthrew the elected president and launched a crackdown against Islamists.

Some supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, who hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood, blamed Christians for supporting the overthrow.

In February, militants from the Islamic State group warned of more attacks against Copts, who make up about 10% of Egypt’s population.

The explosion occurred as Coptic Christians were celebrating Palm Sunday, one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar, marking the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.

On 1 April, an explosion outside a police training centre in Tanta injured 16 people.

BBC

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