01 January 2011
Meet the New Year, same as the Old Year
The Guardian reports that at least 21 people have been killed and more than 70 injured in Egypt in a bombing in Alexandria. The target was the Al-Oidseen Coptic church and was timed to detonate as worshippers left a new year.
It was initially thought a car bomb had caused the explosion but the interior ministry suggested a foreign-backed suicide bomber may have been responsible.
The governor of Alexandria, Adel Labib, accused al-Qaida of planning the bombing. "The al-Qaida organisation threatened to attack churches inside Egypt. This has nothing to do with sectarianism," he told state television. His assessment was shared by Kameel Sadeeq of the city's Coptic Christian council. "People went in to church to pray to God but ended up as scattered limbs, This massacre has al-Qaida written all over, the same pattern al-Qaida has adopted in other countries."
Senior health ministry official Osama Abdel-Moneim said the death toll stood at 21 – a figure also
Nearly 1,000 Christians attended the mass at the church, according to a priest, Father Mena Adel. "I was inside the church and heard a huge explosion," he said. "People's bodies were in flames."
Security around churches has been stepped up in recent months with the authorities banning cars from parking directly outside them, after an al-Qaida-linked group in Iraq threatened the Egyptian church in November.
So 2011 begins with an act of utter evil. Sadly it will not be the last such act we see before we bid farewell to the year. Sometimes I wonder if the not-wife’s misanthropy is the best course. Perhaps the planet would be a far better place if the Yellowstone Caldera went up or a humungous meteor committed our species to the dustbin.
Despite this my thoughts are with those who were injured in this evil act and of course the families and loved ones of those murdered