Wednesday, February 24News For London

Egypt and Turkey mourn terrorism and its impact

Mourners gathered in an Egyptian church for a funeral for 24 people killed in the bombing of Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral, while angry survivors accused authorities of security lapses.

main-final

A nun cries aftermath of Egypt’s main cathedral (Photo permitted by: Al-Masry Al-Alyoum)

At least 24 people died and 49 were wounded when a bomb exploded in a chapel adjoining St Mark’s Cathedral, Cairo’s largest church and seat of the Pope.

Coptic Pope Tawadros II prayed over the wooden coffins of the victims of Sunday’s bombing.

pope-towadros

Pope Tawadros II between the wooden coffins of the victims (photo permitted by: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

Security sources said at least six children were among the dead, with a bomb containing 12 kg of TNT detonated on the side of the church used by women.

This attack is considered to be one the deadliest attacks on the Christian minority in recent memory in Egypt. It came only two days after an explosion in the Giza district of Cairo, close to the ancient pyramids, led to death of six policemen and injury of three others.

“We will take our revenge from those who want us to be in a turmoil” President Abdel-Fatah Al-Sisi said during the funeral.” Anyone who targeted our security or our beloved ones will pay for this. Terrorism will be fought with more determination.”

President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi statement during the funeral (Video permitted by the Egyptian state TV)

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-2-33-54-pm

Orthodox Copts, who comprise about 10 percent of Egypt’s 90 million people, are the Middle East’s biggest Christian community. They have renounced the idea of sectarian strife. Some of them expressed their belief these attacks came as a reaction from Jihadists. Last Thursday, security forces in Egypt arrested the son of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi. Also, one of the extremists’ leaders in Sinai Peninsula has been sentenced to death after being accused of killing army officers and soldiers.

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-2-33-19-pmSame mourning situation existing in Istanbul as well after 38 people were dead and 160 were injured in a twin bomb explosion outside a football stadium in Istanbul.

Same mourning situation seen in Istanbul as well, after 38 people were dead and 160 were injured in a twin bomb explosion outside a football stadium in Istanbul last Saturday.

The Turkish government has vowed to avenge the victims of this attack.

“Sooner or later, we will have our vengeance. This blood will not be left on the ground, no matter what the price, what the cost,” the Turkish interior minister Süleyman Soylu said on Sunday.

Turkish interior minister Süleyman Soylu talking to journalists during the funeral (Video by: Ruptly)

Egypt and Turkey are fighting on several fronts. Egypt is struggling with its economic reforms that have angered the poor, and also is suffering insurgency attacks in Sinai Peninsula, led by ISIS’s Egyptian branch. Turkey is still sorting out aftermath of a coup attempt. Several recent attacks were claimed by Kurdish separatists in different areas in Turkey.

These two countries are among the most favorite places for Britons during the holidays.

Britain suspended air travel above Egypt’s touristic resort Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2015 after the crash of a Russian passenger plane over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on October 31, 2015 killing all 224 people on board.

“Such attacks aim to deliver a message that our country is unstable.” The Egyptian tourism minister told Westminster World during a previous interview: “All safety and security procedures have been reviewed. I can assure the complete safety and readiness not only of Sharm El-Sheikh, but also all other Egyptian cities.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office renewed its advice last October against travel to Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt and a number of tourist resorts in Turkey as well, due to significant increase in criminal activity.

The tourism sector in Egypt and Turkey faces heavy losses after the British decision. Estimated losses are $100 m per month according to Egypt’s minister of tourism. Turkey experienced a dramatic drop in tourism rates as well. Decreases are estimated by 50% for each month according to the Hoteliers Association of Turkey