45 people have been killed in two bomb attacks targeting two Egyptian churches packed with Palm Sunday worshippers claimed by Isis.
The first attack took place in the Saint George church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, north of Cairo, killing 27 and wounding more than 70.
Later, an explosion hit Saint Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, killing at least 18 and wounding 35 just after Pope Tawadros II finished services.
At least 25 people have been killed and at least 70 injured after a bomb exploded in a Coptic church north of Cairo that was packed with Palm Sunday worshippers, officials say.
The attack in the Nile Delta town of Tanta is the latest in a series of assaults on Egypt’s Christian minority, which makes up around 10 per cent of the population and has been repeatedly targeted by Islamic extremists.
It comes just one week before Coptic Easter and the same month Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt.
CBC TV showed footage from inside the church, where a large number of people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers.
Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed confirmed the toll from the attack in interviews with local and state-run media.
No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pope Francis expressed his “deepest condolences” to all Egyptians and to the head of the Coptic Church during his Palm Sunday Mass before tens of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square.
“I pray for the dead and the victims. May the Lord convert the hearts of people who sow terror, violence and death and even the hearts of those who produce and traffic in weapons,” he said.