Saturday, January 01, 2011
BBC NEWS...The blast occurred as worshippers left a New Year's Eve service. At least 21 worshippers have been killed in the attack at a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria in an explosion blamed on a suicide bomber with foreign links.
At least 43 people were wounded in the attack. It happened as worshippers were leaving a new year's service at the al-Qidiseen church shortly after midnight. Coptic Christians and Muslims clashed after the attack, but police moved in and used tear gas to restore order.
President Hosni Mubarak urged Egyptians to unite against "terrorism". In a televised statement he blamed "foreign hands" for the bombing. "Wicked terrorists targeted the nation, Copts and Muslims," he said.
Earlier Egypt's interior ministry said: "It is likely that the device which exploded was carried by a suicide bomber who died among others". The nature of the attack "clearly indicates that foreign elements undertook planning and execution", it said.
The al-Qaeda in Iraq group had recently threatened Christians in Egypt. It cited the case of two Egyptian Christian women who reportedly converted to Islam in order to divorce their husbands. The group said the women were being held against their will by the Coptic Church, MORE FROM THIS SOURCE....
FOX NEWS.....Police initially said the blast came from an explosives-packed car parked outside the Saints Church. But the Interior Ministry later said it was more likely from a suicide bomber on foot.
Both tactics are hallmarks of al-Qaida militants, and the blast comes as the terror network's branch in Iraq has waged a campaign of violence against that country's Christian community and raised the threat of similar attacks in Egypt.
If al-Qaida had a direct role, however, it could be a startling development in Egypt, where the government of President Hosni Mubarak has persistently denied that the terror network has a significant presence on the ground. Egypt does have a rising movement of Islamic hard-liners who, while they do not advocate violence, adhere to an ideology similar in other ways to al-Qaida, and there have been fears they could be further radicalized amid growing sectarian tensions in Egypt.
Nearly 1,000 Christians were attending the New Year's Mass at the Saints Church in the Mediterrean port city, said Father Mena Adel, a priest who attended. The service had just ended, and worshippers were leaving the building when the bomb went off about a half-hour after midnight, he said, MORE FROM THIS SOURCE..
Bill Warner Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM