The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent terrorist attack on Christian worshippers which took place in St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, adjacent to St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, killing at least 25 people, mostly women and children, and injuring dozens more.
Three men and a woman have been arrested in connection with the attack at the chapel adjacent to Cairo’s St Mark’s Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.
In a statement, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said that the terrorism facing Egypt targets the whole nation – Muslims and Christians – and that Egypt will not be shaken by it.
The Grand Mufti, the highest official of religious law in Egypt, condemned the "deplorable terrorist attack" on the cathedral. "Attacking churches whether by demolition, bombing, killing those inside, or terrifying... people are prohibited in Islamic Sharia," said Sheikh Shawky Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam. He called for unity against "black terrorism that tries to instigate sectarianism and sedition among the two wings of Egypt - Muslims and Christians - in a bid to weaken the nation."
The bombing of St. Mark's is one of the deadliest carried out against the Egyptian Christians in recent memory, who account for about 10 per cent of Egypt's 92 million people. Islamic militants have targeted Christians in the past, including a New Year’s Day bombing at a church in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in 2011 that killed at least 21 people.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made clear, in a phone call to Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, the United States will continue to stand with the people of Egypt as they face threats from terrorist organizations and work to achieve a stable, secure, and prosperous future.