Church bombing in Egypt inflames tensions

The bombing of a Coptic church in Egypt has Christians protesting in the streets over the lack of security provided to religious minorities. The Church of the Two Saints bombing killed 21 and wounded 97, and was immediately followed by a pogrom aimed at Christians in the Alexandria area. This continues a string of attacks that began in November when rumors of a romantic relationship between a Christian man and Muslim woman arose. CNN reports on the aftermath of the bombing:

At least 21 people were killed and 97 others injured in Saturday’s blast, which occurred shortly after midnight as Coptic Christians were attending services at the church, according to Egyptian government officials. Evidence indicates that a suicide bomber caused the blast, the country’s interior ministry said Saturday, though witnesses reported seeing a car parked outside the church explode.

“Why would my son or brother go to celebrate the mass by prayer, not by drinking or doing drugs or anything like that, but by praying in the church, and then this would happen to them at the church gate?” one worshipper said Sunday. “What religion or law, whatever it is, would approve what happened yesterday?”

For its part, the Egyptian government has remained mum on the motives of the bomber, claiming that the terrorism “hurt hearts of the Egyptians, Muslim and Coptics.” However, not all governments were as discreet, or even sane. Iran and its puppet front group Hezbollah in Lebanon have identified what they see as the real culprits (via Jeff Dunetz):

The fresh plot by terrorists to target churches is an organized Zionist scenario aimed at creating a rift between Muslims and Christians.

Following its intelligence and security failures in Egypt and the apprehension of a number of Mossad agents by Egyptian intelligence apparatus, the Zionist regime of Israel is set to exact vengeance on the Egyptian nation…..All the existing evidence proves that the Alexandria church explosion, though appearing to have been carried out by extremist groups, is the handiwork of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.

And in Egypt, 22 lawyers publicly accused Israel of the crime as well:

A coalition of Egyptian lawyers accused Israel of being behind an terror attack in Alexandria that killed 22 members of the Christian Copt sect attending midnight mass on New Year’s eve, Army Radio reported Monday.

“The Mossad carried out the the operation in a natural reaction to the latest uncovering of an Israeli espionage network,” the lawyers accused at a rally in memory of the victims, organized by the Egyptian Bar Association, according to the report.

The bomber died in the blast, according to Egyptian officials, which would tend to rule out the Mossad, which doesn’t exactly have a track record of conducting suicide bombings. That distinction goes to the radical Islamists in the region, the same kind of terrorists (if not perhaps the same al-Qaeda brand) who bombed a Christian church in Baghdad not long ago.