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.