01 January 2011 – Cairo – An explosion outside a church in Egypt killed at least seven people and wounded 24 others early Saturday, the country’s interior ministry said.
State-run Nile TV reported that the death toll was 10, with at least 43 people injured in the blast in Alexandria. The station showed tens of firefighters battling a blaze at the scene.
A car parked in front of the Church of Two Saints exploded shortly after midnight, the interior ministry said. Coptic Christians were attending services there at the time of the blast, Nile TV reported.
The car was filled with explosives, Nile TV reported, citing the interior ministry.
A nearby mosque was damaged and eight Muslims were among the injured, the interior ministry said.
Alexandria Gov. Adel Labeeb told Nile TV that samples from the scene had been sent to a government lab as part of an investigation.
“The attack targeted all Egyptians and not just our Coptic brethren,” Ladeeb said, according to Egypt’s MENA news service.
Egyptian officials are blaming foreign elements for the attack, MENA reported.
Copts, who are adherents of an Egyptian sect of Christianity, make up about 9% of the nation’s population. About 90% of Egyptians are Muslims.