Jihadist bomb attacks on two Coptic Churches in Egypt during Palm Sunday morning killed the lives of at least 44 people and injured many others.
According to Fox News, the first bomb exploded outside St. George Church in Tanta, north of Cairo, as the church held its morning Palm Sunday mass service. The force of the bomb was so strong that it destroyed church walls where 27 people died and around 78 were wounded.
After a few hours, a second bomb detonated near St. Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria a few moments after the mass ended. It left 17 people dead in its wake and 48 injured. The Ministry of Interior has yet to identify the suicide bomber responsible for the detonation of the second bomb.
Three policemen were killed in the second explosion while Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, who led the church service when the attack happened, was not hurt.
The militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant also known as ISIL or ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the two attacks via Telegram messaging platform, reported CNN. The group warned of subsequent attacks on Christians.
"The Crusaders and their apostate followers must be aware that the bill between us and them is very large, and they will be paying it like a river of blood from their sons, if God is willing," said the militant group in a statement.
The attack came just as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi returned a few days from a trip to the United States and met with U.S. President Donald Trump, who hailed his staunch resolve to end Islamist violence in the nation, said The New York Times.
A three-month state of emergency will take effect "after legal and constitution steps are taken," said the president in a speech shown on state television.