Blast Near Coptic Cathedral In Cairo Kills At Least 25

An explosion near Cairo's Coptic cathedral has killed at least 25 people and wounded 49 others, Egyptian officials say.

Egypt's official MENA news agency reported that the December 11 blast was caused by a bomb thrown by an assailant into St. Peter's church, next to St. Mark's Cathedral.

St. Mark's is the seat of Egypt's Orthodox church and the home of its spiritual leader, Pope Tawadros II.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi condemned the attack as a "vile act of terrorism" and declares three days of official mourning for the victims.

Egypt's Coptic Christians make up some 10 percent of the country's population.

The explosion comes after a bomb attack killed six police officers at a checkpoint in Cairo on December 9.

A militant group called Hasm, suspected by authorities of links to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Egypt’s security forces are fighting an Islamist insurgency that has launched deadly attacks in Cairo and other cities.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP