In a series of tweets published Sunday, President Donald Trump condemned the bombing of two churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday. President Trump said he was "so sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt," which left more than 40 people dead and dozens more wounded at two Coptic Orthodox churches on one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.
"So sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt," Trump said in a series of two tweets published Sunday. "[The] U.S. strongly condemns. I have great confidence that President Al Sisi will handle situation properly."
A total of 27 people were killed with more than 70 others wounded when a bomb exploded during Palm Sunday services at St. George's Church in the Egyptian city of Tanta, state officials have said. A second attack carried out by a suicide bomber on St. Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria later in the day left 16 people dead and at least 40 others injured, Egypt's Interior Ministry said.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks Sunday, saying they had been carried out by "a security detachment" of the terrorist organization, CNN reported. However, the cable news network noted it could not independently confirm whether the Islamic State was behind the bombings or not.
...confidence that President Al Sisi will handle situation properly.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2017
The State Department also condemned the attacks in Egypt, calling then "barbaric" in a statement released Sunday shortly after the president had responded. "The United States condemns in the strongest terms the barbaric attacks on Christian places of worship in Tanta and Alexandria that killed dozens of innocent people and injured many more on this holy day of Palm Sunday," the State Department said in an e-mailed statement. "We express our condolences to the families and friends of the victims and wish a quick recovery for all those injured." The State Department also reiterated its willingness to "continue to support Egypt's security and stability in its efforts to defeat terrorism."
Although Trump has been in office only a few months, he has already established a relationship with Egypt's leader. President Trump welcomed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the White House earlier in April, praising the "fantastic job" Sisi was doing and reiterating the United State's friendship and alliance with Egypt. During the visit Sisi, who came to power following a coup in 2013, said he had "a deep appreciation and admiration of [Trump's] unique personality," USA Today reported.