April 9th, 2017 – ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the two Coptic churches in Egypt. With 43 confirmed deaths, the bombing came at a crucial time for Christians: Palm Sunday, or the first Sunday before Easter.
The first blast ripped through the Palm Sunday service in the city of Tanta at St. George’s Church, which killed 27 people and injured 78 others. The bombing device was planted under a seat in the main hall of the church. A video can be seen where the service was carried out until suddenly, the screen turns mute and screams can be heard in the background.
“Everything is destroyed inside the church,” said Peter Kamel. He described that the pillars of the churches were streaked with blood.
Not long after the first bombing, another suicide bomber outside of the St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria. The police staff outside the church identified a man with explosives strapped to his body. The suicide bomber failed to make it inside the church. Directly near the bomber, several police officers, a couple, and several other civilians were killed. 16 people were confirmed dead and 41 others wounded.
Egyptian blogger, Maged Butter said that she saw blood spatter even 100 meters away from the site of the explosion, describing the horrors of this event. “I came back and the area was covered in smoke. The stores around the church were all destroyed,” she said. “There were bodies and body parts everywhere, outside and inside the gate. I saw a man put together what was left of his son in a bag.”
The Arab Republic of Egypt has since gone into a three-month state of emergency Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said Sunday. Sisi has also declared three days of national mourning. However, in response to the attacks, he has created a supreme council to counter terrorism and extremism.
However, this is not the only act of terrorism we have seen in the past few weeks; in fact, it is absolutely horrifying counting the sheer number of acts of terror that has happened in the span of one week: Sweden truck attack; suicide bomber of Mogadishu, Somalia; the 44 executions of Iraqis; the chemical attack in Syria; the suicide bomber of Kirkuk, Iraq; and the subway bomber of St. Petersburg, Russia.
With all of this frenzy, the world seems to be spiraling down into a ditch. The Trump Organization takes direct military action against the Syrian regime and launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at the airbase that was home to the warplanes that carried out the chemical attacks. Russia openly condemned the attack and saw it as an “act of aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law.” Iran and Assad’s office Friday called it “a disgraceful act” that “can only be described as short-sighted.”
To make matters even worse, the US aircraft carrier-led strike group, USS Carl Vinson, heads towards the Korean Peninsula. In recent times, the hype for an outbreak in Korea seems very plausible. U.S. officials assert that “all options are on the table,” which presumably includes a pre-emptive strike. In response, North Korean Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said: “we will go to war if they choose.” It is undeniable that wars are easier said than done, and Trump’s nonchalance towards this issue concerns others.
Currently, the Japanese, Chinese, and French governments have spoken out about the possible events occurring between the Koreas: “Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but multiple loss. No one can become a winner,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters at a news conference with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. “Therefore, we call upon all the parties, no matter verbally or in action, to stop provoking and threatening each other and not to allow the situation to become irretrievable and out of control.”
Facebook exploded with news about these current events, and there are numerous people, even students at KIS, who are panicking over the possibility of a war. With all of these overly-complex politics, international relations are thinning out, and everybody is feeling uneasy about the current events. War seems just on the horizon. Is World War III a possibility? Only time will tell.
Article Written by Sean Choi