A Coptic Egyptian Church hit by a deadly blast on Sunday was itself a target of a failed bomb attack only two weeks ago, according to local media reports.
The Mary Girgis church in Tanta, north of Cairo, was attacked Sunday, April 9, as the Coptic Christian community marked Palm Sunday, one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar.
But the Nile Delta city of Tanta was itself subjected to several attacks during the past two weeks, one of which was against the same church attacked on Sunday.
On March 29, security forces said they dismantled a bomb inside the Mary Girgis church, with no human or material losses reported.
A few days later, a member of security forces was killed outside a police training camp after it was hit by a blast on April 1.
The next day security at the Tanta Univeristy reportedly found a bomb near one of its college buildings, a bomb disposal team was called in to dismantle it.
The recent news reports raised concerns on whether authorities were prepared to secure the Mary Girgis church as Christians across Egypt mark Palm Sunday at the start of Holy Week, which concludes with Easter Sunday on 16 April, during which Christians celebrate the Resurrection.
Coptic journalist Sameh Mahrous told Al Arabiya English that “there’s a clear security failure revealed in Sunday’s attack, especially after a previous bomb attack targeted Christians five months ago, also on holidays.”
“The Egyptian state is serious in it’s war against extremists, and such attacks increase whenever the state is tightening its grip on them.”