Christians hold mass at suicide bombing church
|2 January 2011 | 14:48 | Source: VOA|
|ALEXANDRIA -- Christians attended Mass Sunday at an Egyptian Coptic Church one day after an apparent suicide bombing killed 21 worshippers and wounded scores of others.|
Witnesses said after the bombing, Coptic Christians tried to attack a mosque across from the church, and that fights broke out, causing some injuries.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has condemned the bombing, saying the country's Christians and Muslims should not be divided by what he called terrorist acts.
Mr. Mubarak said the attack was the work of "foreign hands." He promised to defeat those plotting against Egypt's security. U.S. President Barack Obama also condemned the bombing.
The attack occurred just outside the church where worshippers had gathered to celebrate Mass and bring in the new year. There has been no claim of responsibility.
Al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq has claimed responsibility for other recent bombings, saying they were in retaliation for two Egyptian Christian women who converted to Islam. Al-Qaida says the women are being held hostage by the Christians for having converted.
The Palestinian militant group Hamas condemned Saturday's attack, saying the perpetrators were seeking to promote confrontation between Muslims and Christians.
Tensions between Christians and Muslims have been on the rise in Egypt and Iraq following threats by al-Qaida.