SINGAPORE: Singapore has condemned the Islamic State-linked attacks at two churches in Egypt, the deadliest attacks on Christians in Egypt in recent memory.
“Singapore strongly condemns the twin terror attacks on the Mar Girgis Church in Tanta and the St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria during Egypt’s Palm Sunday festivities on Apr 9, which had resulted in the tragic loss of lives, as well as injuries and suffering to many,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement issued on Monday (Apr 10).
“Those responsible for these reprehensible acts must be brought to justice.”
At least 44 people were killed in bomb attacks at the cathedral of the Coptic Pope and another church on Palm Sunday, prompting anger and fear among Christians and leading to troop deployments and the declaration of a three-month state of emergency.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, which also injured more than 100 people and occurred a week before Coptic Easter, with Pope Francis scheduled to visit Egypt later this month.
“Singapore stands together with the Egyptian government against the scourge of terrorism and with its people at this time of grief. We also convey our deepest condolences to the victims’ families while wishing the injured a speedy recovery,” the statement said.
There are no e-registered Singaporeans in both cities and no reports of Singaporeans injured or directly affected by the incidents, MFA said.
Singaporeans in Egypt are advised to monitor the news, heed the advice of local authorities and keep in touch with their family and friends, it added.
SINGAPORE LEADERS CONDEMN ATTACKS
Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said he was “saddened by the violence perpetrated by Islamic State and its supporters” in a place of worship.
“These violent acts will sow enmity between Egyptians of various beliefs; if not now but surely one day. Mistrust and enmity between faiths are the terrorists' end game; they will keep at it until we will kill each other for the slightest grievance. We must never be corralled into their ultimate trap,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.
“In Singapore we must make much effort to be in the common spaces to be with each other, not just at work but in our community where we live. Only then can we appreciate there is so much that we share.”
Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu also condemned the “heinous attacks”.
“These heinous attacks on innocent lives and places of worship must be condemned. This also reminds us all that we cannot take safety and security for granted,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Here in Singapore, we must all be vigilant and look out for one another. When terror strikes, our resilience as one people will depend on the bonds and friendships across our Singapore community.”