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Huckleberries Online

Suicide bombers kill 44 at Palm Sunday services in Egypt

People clean up debris after an explosion hit Saint Mark's Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, Sunday, killing several people, just after Pope Tawadros II finished services. Bombs tore through two Egyptian churches in different cities as worshippers were marking Palm Sunday, both claimed by the Islamic State group. (Hazem Gouda / Associated Press)
People clean up debris after an explosion hit Saint Mark's Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, Sunday, killing several people, just after Pope Tawadros II finished services. Bombs tore through two Egyptian churches in different cities as worshippers were marking Palm Sunday, both claimed by the Islamic State group. (Hazem Gouda / Associated Press)

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the violence, adding to fears that extremists are shifting their focus to civilians, especially Egypt’s Christian minority.

The attacks in the northern cities of Tanta and Alexandria that also left 126 people wounded came at the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter, and just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit.

Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic church who will meet with Francis on April 28-29, was in the Alexandra cathedral at the time of the bombing but was unhurt, the Interior Ministry said.

It was the single deadliest day for Christians in decades and the worst since a bombing at a Cairo church in December killed 30 people. Read more.




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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.