Palm Sunday is one of the most sacred of all days for Christians of every denomination.

Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox branches of the faith recognize it as the day Christ rode a donkey into Jerusalem at the beginning of the week that would culminate in his crucifixion and resurrection.

But two explosions targeted Coptic Christians as they marked the holy day in places of worship leaving at least 44 dead, more than one-hundred injured

The first, in Tanta, Egypt – 90 miles north of Cairo – tore apart St. George’s church while those who were watching the Palm Sunday mass on television.

An early release by the Health Ministry put the casualties at 25 dead and 71 injured, according to, but that number may rise.

The explosion at St. George’s was followed by a second attack, this one in Alexandria when a suicide bomber attempted to enter St. Mark’s Cathedral during Mass and detonated the device when he was directed to a metal detector.

At least 17 were killed, including three police officers and another member of the Cathedral’s security detail, and 48 taken to the hospital.

The bomb may have been more than just an attack on Christians at a place of worship on a holy day, but is being investigated as a possible assassination attempt on the Coptic Pope Tawadros II.

A photograph of the Coptic Pope, covered in white ash, but unharmed, praying after the explosion in Tanta was posted on social and news media.

The terror attacks prompted Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to declare a three-month state of emergency and increased security concerns just weeks before Pope Francis – who learned of the bombings as he was conducting Palm Sunday Mass in Rome – is due to visit Egypt.

President Trump condemned the attacks by ISIS and expressed “great confidence that President Al Sisi will handle the situation properly.”

The attacks come days after a terrorist drove a truck into a busy shopping area in Stockholm, Sweden killing four and leaving 15 injured, and just hours after Norwegian authorities dismantled an explosive device in the nation’s capital, Oslo.

Last month, another terror attack using a vehicle took the lives of four and injuring more than 50 as a driver aimed for pedestrians walking across the iconic Westminster Bridge in London before plowing into a fence surrounding the Parliament building.

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