Just six days after a bombing in Cairo killed six policemen, another bomb explodes at Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, killing 25 and wounding another 35 people.  The victims are believed to be mostly women and children.

Hasam, a terrorist group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, claimed responsibility for the first Cairo bombing, but no one has yet claimed responsibility for Sunday’s bombing Saint Mark’s.

CBS News reports:

A bombing at Egypt’s main Coptic Christian cathedral killed 25 people and wounded another 35 on Sunday, in one of the deadliest attacks carried out against the religious minority in recent memory.

The attack came two days after a bomb elsewhere in Cairo killed six policemen, an assault claimed by a shadowy group that authorities say is linked to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Islamic militants have targeted Christians in the past, including a New Year’s Day bombing at a church in Alexandria in 2011 that killed at least 21 people.

Egypt’s official MENA news agency said an assailant lobbed a bomb into a chapel close to the outer wall of St Mark’s Cathedral, seat of Egypt’s Orthodox Christian church and home to the office of its spiritual leader, Pope Tawadros II. Egyptian state TV gave the casualty toll.

Witnesses said the explosion may have been caused by an explosive device planted inside the chapel. Conflicting accounts are common in the immediate aftermath of attacks.

The blast took place as a Sunday mass being held in the chapel was about to end and coincided with a national holiday in Egypt marking the birth of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Most of the victims are thought to be women and children.

Witnesses describe the horrific scene.

CBS News continues:

An Associated Press reporter who arrived at the scene shortly after the blast saw blood-stained pews and shards of glass scattered across the chapel’s floor. Men and women wailed and cried outside.

“I found bodies, many of them women, lying on the pews. It was a horrible scene,” said cathedral worker Attiya Mahrous, who rushed to the chapel after he heard the blast. His clothes and hands were stained with blood and his hair matted with dust.

“I saw a headless woman being carried away,” Mariam Shenouda said as she pounded her chest in grief. “Everyone was in a state of shock. We were scooping up people’s flesh off the floor,” she said.

“There were children. What have they done to deserve this? I wish I had died with them instead of seeing these scenes,” she added.

Although details are conflicting, the bomb may have been set in or near the women’s section of the cathedral.

The Times of Israel has more:

Egypt’s official MENA news agency said an assailant lobbed a bomb into a chapel close to the outer wall of the cathedral.

However, witnesses said the explosion may have been caused by an explosive device planted inside the chapel. Conflicting accounts are common in the immediate aftermath of attacks.

. . . .  Copts, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 90 million, have faced persecution and discrimination that spiked during the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled by a popular uprising in 2011.

Islamist extremists have regularly incited violence against Copts, especially since the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Watch the report: