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Rep. Comstock in Egypt as ISIS bombs erupt nearby, killing nearly 50

U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock was in Egypt today as part of a previously planned delegation trip to the Middle East when bombs at two churches in separate Egyptian cities killed at least 45 people and wounded nearly 100.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which came on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week leading up to Easter next Sunday.

Comstock, a Republican who represents all of Loudoun County and other parts of Northern Virginia, issued a joint statement along with her traveling colleagues, U.S. Reps. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) and Claudia Tenney (R-New York).

A spokesman for the congresswoman, Jeff Marschner, said there is no reason to believe the American lawmakers were targeted in the attacks. As is standard with congressional trips to the Middle East, Marschner could not provide additional details about Comstock's trip for security reasons.

In their statement, the lawmakers said they “are sickened and horrified at the attacks targeting innocent worshipers as they gathered to celebrate one of the holiest days of the Christian faith.”

“The United States must continue working with our allies and partners in the international community to bring a swift end to ISIS and these continuing acts of violence across the world,” the representatives' statement noted. “Egypt is one of our most crucial partners in that fight. Yesterday, we met with President [Abdel Fattah] Al-Sisii to discuss how to foster better collaboration as we work together on our common interests of destroying ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups killing innocent civilians here, across the Middle East, the U.S., and throughout the world. We will continue working together to address these threats and defeat terrorism once and for all.”
Comstock and her colleagues met with Al-Sisi in Cairo Saturday as the first stop of the bipartisan trip to the Middle East. The aim of the delegation is to strengthen relationships with strategic partners and fostering cooperation in the fight against ISIS, Marschner said.

The attacks happened around 9:30 a.m. in the Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria. Comstock attended a Palm Sunday mass with American troops on the Sinai Peninsula around 11 a.m.

Christians make up roughly 10 percent of the predominantly Muslim nation of Egypt.

Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit Egypt later this month, condemned the attacks Sunday.

"I pray for the dead and the victims. May the Lord convert the hearts of people who sow terror, violence and death and even the hearts of those who produce and traffic in weapons," the pope said.


Shame to have a nice junket ruined by the locals…

Those targeted were the same group that were targeted with mass beheadings of 20 Coptic Christians (migrant workers in Libya) on a beach in Libya in 2015.

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