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    Egyptians gather at near a church in Alexandria after a bomb blast struck worshippers gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday on April 9, 2017

    Number of Victims of Explosion at Church in Egypt's Alexandria Reaches 18

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    The number of victims of an explosion at a Coptic church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria has reached 18, according to media reports.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The number of victims of an explosion at a Coptic church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria has reached 18, local media reported, citing the country's Health Ministry.

    According to the Daily News newspaper, the blast at the church where Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, was present, left 40 people injured.

    Earlier in the day, powerful explosions hit two Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria. The first blast occurred Sunday during worship at a church in Tanta, Gharbia province north of Cairo, killing at least 30 and injuring up to 70 people. Later in the day, a blast occurred at the church in Alexandria.

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi authorized special army units to assist local police in ensuring security of the infrastructure in all the country's provinces amid the deadly attacks.

    According to local media reports, the Islamic State jihadist group (IS, outlawed in Russia) claimed responsibility for the attacks on Coptic churches in Egypt. Egyptian authorities reportedly declared a 3-day mourning over the death of those killed in explosions.

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