Two blasts targeting Coptic Christians in Egypt on Palm Sunday have killed at least 70 people, officials say.
In Alexandria, an explosion outside St Mark’s Coptic church killed 13 people. Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Church, had been attending Mass inside and was unhurt, state media reported.
An earlier blast at St George’s Coptic church in Tanta killed 29 people.
So-called Islamic State (IS) says it is be­hind the explosions. The group has recent­ly targeted Copts in Egypt.
Four police officers, including one police­woman, were among those killed in Alexan­dria, the interior ministry said. The suicide bomber blew himself up after they stopped him from entering the church.
The first explosion in Tanta, 94km (58 miles) north of Cairo, took place near the altar.
Security forces later dismantled two ex­plosive devices at the Sidi Abdel Rahim Mosque, also in Tanta, the state-run Al-Ahram news website reports.
The explosions injured at least 71 people in Tanta and 35 others in Alexandria, the health ministry said.
The blasts appear to have been timed for maximum impact, as people gathered to mark Palm Sunday. It is one of the ho­liest days in the Christian calendar, mark­ing the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. - The Authority