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Egyptian President El-Sissi has now declared a state of emergency for three months.
Under the country's constitution, Sisi will have to put the measure before parliament, which is stacked with his supporters, for approval within a week.
He added that the blast appeared to be centered near the altar and that the priest leading the service, Father Daniel, was wounded.
Susan Mikhail, whose apartment balcony across the street has a clear view of the church and its front yard, said the explosion violently shook her building.'Deacons were the first to run out of the church.
An Isis affiliate claimed a December suicide bombing at a Cairo church that killed about 30 people, mostly women, as well as a string of killings in the northern Sinai that caused hundreds of Christians to flee.Hundreds of residents gathered in the area, and church members blocked people - including journalists - from entering the church as police cordoned off the area. President Donald Trump tweeted that he is 'so sad to hear of the terrorist attack' against the U. ally but added that he has 'great confidence' that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, 'will handle the situation properly.' The two leaders met at the White House on April 3.Grand Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, head of Egypt's Al-Azhar - the leading center of learning in Sunni Islam - also condemned the attacks, calling them a 'despicable terrorist bombing that targeted the lives of innocents.'Both Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement ruling neighboring Gaza condemned the bombings as well.Francis, who has not made any direct public comment on the current Middle East crisis, said the Mass as international tensions increased following the U. missile strike on a Syrian air base, which the Pentagon says was involved in a chemical weapons attack that killed 87 people.Egypt's Copts, targets of an apparent church bombing north of Cairo on Sunday, are the Middle East's largest Christian minority and one of the oldest.
Making up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 90 million, the Coptic Orthodox form the largest Christian denomination in the Muslim-majority country.