ISIS has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a church in Cairo that killed 24 Christians.

The terrorist group named the bomber as Abu Abdullah al-Masri, thought to be a nom de guerre. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said the attack, whose victims were mainly women and children, was carried out by 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa.

The bomb detonated outside a chapel adjacent to St Mark’s Cathedral, seat of the Coptic Orthodox Church, while the faithful attended a Sunday Divine Liturgy.

Pope Francis phoned Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria to express his condolences.

“We are united in the blood of our martyrs,” the Holy Father told Pope Tawadros, according to a Vatican statement.

The Coptic leader thanked Pope Francis for his closeness at such a sad time and asked for his continued prayers for the Copts and for peace in Egypt, the statement said.

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