At Least 6 Killed from Car Bomb in Front of Saints Church in Alexandria, Egypt

Christians clashed with Egyptian police in the northern city of Alexandria on Saturday, furious over an apparent suicide bombing against worshippers leaving a New Year’s Mass at a church that killed at least 21 people.

A car bomb exploded in front of a Coptic Christian church as worshippers emerged from a New Year’s Mass in Alexandria, Egypt early Saturday, killing at least seven people, officials said.

Following the blast, Christians emerged from the church and clashed with police then stormed a nearby mosque.

About 1,000 Christians attended the Mass at the Saints Church. The service had just ended, and worshippers were leaving the church when the car bomb exploded about 12:30 a.m. local time.

There were reports of dead bodies on fire in the street. At least seven people were reported killed and 24 injured.

There have been recent threats by al-Qaida members in Iraq threatening to attack Christians in Egypt.

In January 2009, seven Christians were killed in a drive-by shooting on a church in southern Egypt during celebrations for the Orthodox Coptic Christmas.

The Saints Church in Alexandria was also attacked in April 2006, when a man stabbed worshippers with a knife.

Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s mainly Muslim population of nearly 80 million people.