ISIS claims responsibility for Palm Sunday church bombings in Egypt......(VIDEO)
ISIS claimed responsibility for deadly bombings at two Coptic churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday. The attacks targeted a vulnerable religious minority on one of the most important days on the Christian calendar.
The death toll rose to at least 47 early Monday, state media reported. At least 27 people were killed inside a church in the northern city of Tanta, and at least 16 were killed outside a church in Alexandria. It was not immediately clear at which location the other four were killed.
In a statement issued on the Telegram messaging platform and circulated by several ISIS supporters, the militant group identified the suicide bombers as Egyptian nationals. Egyptian authorities have not confirmed the bombers' nationalities.
ISIS warned of more attacks in its statement. "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," the group said in Arabic.
A three-month state of emergency will be declared following the bombing, after legal and constitutional measures have been completed, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said Sunday.
The bombings came on the Sunday before Easter, the day that marks the start of Holy Week for Christians.
The first blast ripped through a Palm Sunday service at St. George's Church in Tanta, killing at least 27 and wounding 78 others, state TV reported. An explosive device had been planted under a seat in the main prayer hall, it said.
News footage from Tanta showed people gathering at the church, singing hymns. The video then quickly switched to bars as harrowing screams and cries echo in the background.