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Egypt church reopens after attack

posted 2 Jan 2011, 07:44 by Mpelembe   [ updated 2 Jan 2011, 07:46 ]
Christians in Egypt grieve at the Alexandria church where a bomb blast killed 21 and injured dozens, as Pope Benedict condemns the attack.
EGYPT-ALEXANDRIA CHURCH - The Egyptian church targeted in Saturday's deadly bomb attack reopens as worshippers grieve.

A suspected suicide bomber killed at least 21 people and wounded over 90, while hundreds gathered to mark the New Year in Alexandria.

Egyptian officials believe the attack was planned abroad, following threats by al Qaeda-linked groups against

Egypt's Orthodox Coptic Christians.

In response, authorities had increased security around churches, but many Christians say the measures weren't enough.

Following the blast clashes broke out between Christians and Muslims in the area, but many have pledged cooperation.

"The message is that we are all grandchildren of Adam," says this Orthodox priest. "What I mean is that we are all alike, we are all grandchildren of Adam which means we are all brothers."

Egypt has seen tensions between members of the two faiths flare before, but violence on Saturday's scale is largely unprecedented.

In a Sunday address, Pope Benedict called the attack a "vile gesture of death."

The Vatican has expressed fears that recent violence against Christians in the region will lead to a exodus from the area.

David Botti, Reuters