UPDATE: Death toll mounts. Suicide bomber, not car bomb:
A bomb that killed 21 people outside a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria may have been carried by a suicide bomber and not caused by a car bomb, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
Happy new year and the Islamic killing begins .......It didn't take but a half hour; this just in: Explosion kills five outside Egyptian church
An explosion outside a church in the north Egyptian city of Alexandria has left at least five dead, security officials and witnesses say.
The blast, apparently caused by a car bomb, hit people as they left a new year's service at the al-Qidiseen church shortly after midnight.
Obama say, "Respect it!" Daisy the Khan say, "the era of extremsism is over!" Geller says, "Defeat this evil."
An Australian Atlas reader, Assad, opines:
Only half an hour, into the new year, the adherents of the religion of peace have exploded a car bomb as church goers were leaving after midnight mass concluded.
Differing reports says 5-10 people have been killed in an explosion that went off at a Coptic Christian church in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria early Saturday.
The blast went off about a half-hour after midnight early Saturday as worshippers were emerging from a New Year's Mass at the Saints Church in Alexandria.
Police say the blast came from a car parked outside the church, but police said they were still investigating whether the car had been rigged with explosives or if a bomb had been placed under it.
Police said there were wounded, but did not have an immediate number. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press. Witnesses reported seeing the bodies of several dead, but the numbers were not immediately confirmed.
After the explosion, some Christians from the church clashed with police in anger over the blast, a police official said. The Christians hurled stones at police and a nearby mosque, chanting, "With our blood and soul, we redeem the cross," the witnesses said.
The attack comes at a time of heightened sectarian tensions in the region, when al-Qaida-linked militants have carried out a campaign of attacks against Christians in Iraq, killing 68 in a church siege in October and two more Christians in attacks in Baghdad on Thursday.
The attacks in Iraq have an unusual connection to Egypt. Al-Qaida in Iraq says it is carrying out the campaign of anti-Christian attacks.
With 1 week before Copts celebrate Christmas Mass on 7 January, the year has been commenced by the shedding of christian blood and resulting in coptic Martyrs at the hands of radical islamists.
Christians Are Casualties of 10 Baghdad Attacks -- New York Times