Bomb Hits Egypt Church At New Year's Mass, 21 Dead
CAIRO - A car exploded in front of a Coptic Christian church as worshippers emerged from a New Year's Mass in the Egyptian city of Alexandria early Saturday, killing at least 21 people, officials said.
After the blast, enraged Christians emerging from the church clashed with police and stormed a nearby mosque, prompting fights and volleys of stone throwing with Muslims, police and witnesses said — a sign of the sectarian anger that has been arising with greater frequency in Egypt.
Nearly 1,000 Christians were attending the Mass at the Saints Church in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, said a priest at the church, Father Mena Adel. The service had just ended, and worshippers were leaving the building when the blast went off, about a half-hour after midnight.
"I was inside the church and heard a huge explosion," Adel told The Associated Press. "People's bodies were in flames."
The blast came from a car parked outside the church, but police said they were still investigating whether the car had been rigged with explosives or if a bomb had been placed under it. Witnesses reported seeing the charred chassis of the destroyed car, with the remains of several bodies nearby and dozens wounded.
The Interior Ministry originally said in a statement that seven people were killed and 24 wounded. Senior Health Ministry official Osama Abdel Moneim later raised the toll to 21 after more bodies were transferred to hospitals.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. Alexandria governor Adel Labib immediately blamed al-Qaida, pointing to recent threats by the terror group's branch in Iraq to attack Christians. It was not clear, however, if Labib had firm evidence, and he may have intended more to deny any homegrown Muslim-Christian tensions in Egypt.
Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>
DODSON, Mont. - Two people were injured in Montana Wednesday morning after swerving to avoid a kangaroo on the road. Trooper Matt Finley with the Montana Highway Patrol said he thought it was a joke when he responded to the call, but when he arrived at about 4 a.m. he saw the kangaroo. Trooper Finley said he learned there is a kangaroo farm west of Dodson.>>
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state woman has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $290,000 from a Costco warehouse over five years. The News Tribune reports 54-year-old Robin Cline pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Tacoma to charges of wire fraud. Cline of Puyallup worked at Costco in Fife from 1996 to 2016 as an accounts receivable clerk. She was responsible for processing payments and refunds for customers of the warehouse club operator. Accordi...>>
A Spokane business owner says enough is enough after finding human feces in front of her doorstep three days in a row. The incidences happened at Neat Old Stuff located at 3rd and Bernard. The shop's owner, CP Phare, has been in the same location for the last decade and says suspicious activity has ramped up in the last year, but nothing like what's been happening over the last few days. "There's like surprise packages usually two-to-three times a week,">>
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - 22-year-old Freedom Woody of Spokane was sentenced Wednesday after having pleaded guilty to production of child pornography. According to information disclosed during court proceedings, investigators found Woody and a 13-year old girl from Oregon in a homeless camp near the Spokane River after the girl’s grandmother reported her missing. When interviewed by officers, Woody admitted having sex with her.>>
MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Blue balloons soared into the open skies of Moses Lake Tuesday afternoon; each one was inked with a message to Valerie Bashaw, the 13-year-old girl who recently took her own life. “We know she’s not physically here but in our hearts and minds and souls,” said one of Bashaw’s ballet instructors, Rian Miles.>>
WOODSIDE, Calif. (AP) - Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died. The Gorilla Foundation says the 46-year-old western lowland gorilla died in its sleep at the foundation's preserve in California's Sana Cruz mountains on Tuesday. Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Dr. Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language that became part of a Stanford University project in 1974.>>