Hamas: Attack in Cairo seeks 'to wreak havoc'

Hamas condemns terror attack on Coptic church in Cairo which killed 23 people.

Elad Benari ,

Hamas rally in Gaza
Hamas rally in Gaza
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Hamas on Sunday evening condemned the terrorist attack on a Coptic church in Cairo, which killed 23 people and wounded at least 49.

"The goal of such crimes that harm innocent people is to wreak havoc and cause an exchange of accusations between the parties living in the area, in such a way that assists only the enemies of the Islamic and Arab nation," said the group which controls Gaza.

The attack occurred around 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church, which is adjacent to Saint Mark's Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic pope Tawadros II.

The blast shattered the church's windows and scattered pews through the interior of the church, scorching its marble pillars, according to AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population, have been previously targeted by jihadists.

In 2015, the Islamic State (ISIS) group released a video purportedly showing the beheading of the Coptic Christians it had captured in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Hamas, which was friendly with the Egyptian regime of former President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been the subject of a crackdown by his successor, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

As part of the crackdown, Egypt has shut down the smuggling tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula and has also built a buffer zone along the border.

Egypt’s accuses Hamas terrorists of having provided the weapons for a lethal attack in the Sinai Peninsula in 2014, which killed 30 soldiers. Hamas denies the allegations.