Update: Foreign hands behind Alex church attack, say officials

The terrorist attack on an Alexandrian church which left 21 people killed and another 43 injured was part of a foreign plan targeting Egyptian security and national unity, Alexandria Governor Adel Labib said.

Labib accused al-Qaeda of the bombing as it recently threatened to launch attacks on Egyptian churches. He called on Alexandrians to stand united in the face of terrorism.
Egyptian Coptic and Muslim leaders of all stripes condemned the attack, agreeing that Egypt is being targeted by foreign entities interested in creating rifts within Egyptian society.
Mohamed Refaa al-Tahtawi, official spokesperson for Al-Azhar, said foreign bodies seeking to drive a wedge between Egypt’s Muslims and Copts were behind the explosion, while also saying that al-Qaeda does not operate in Egypt.
Al-Tahtawi added that such attacks are intended to set Muslims and Christians in the Arab world against each other, create a schism between Shia and Sunni Muslims, and divide Sudan.
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif also condemned the attack, which he said targets all Egyptians.
The attack infuriated Egyptians who thought the bombing was not carried out by fellow countrymen. Describing the attack, an eyewitness told Reuters, “This is a scene from Baghdad.”
“The perpetrators of this bombing are not Muslims and not Egyptians,” another eyewitness told Al-Masry Al-Youm. “This is a group of easily swayed people who have been misled.”

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