Christians across the world celebrated Palm Sunday on April 9, but at two Coptic churches in Egypt, this gathering ended in bloodshed. Forty-four people were killed in two bombings, and as of this evening, ISIS has claimed responsibility for these atrocities.
As CNN reports, Coptic Christians are a “vulnerable minority” in Egypt, and this attack—carried out by suicide bombers—fell on one of the most significant days on the Christian calendar. Via the Telegram messaging platform, ISIS sympathizers identified the bombers as Egyptian nationals. However, their nationalities have not been confirmed by the Egyptian government.
ISIS has also released a formal statement in Arabic, announcing that more attacks will follow:
“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.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has called a three-month state of emergency.
“I won’t say those who fell are Christian or Muslim,” he said on state television Sunday evening. “I will say that they’re Egyptian.”