Earlier this week an explosion at Cairo’s Coptic Cathedral that killed at least 22 and injured 35 others.
Al-Bortosia chapel became the scene of a nightmare: windows smashed, the floor littered with body parts and pews smeared with blood.
It was unclear how the bomb came to be inside the church, with some eyewitnesses saying it was thrown through a window, while others claimed it was planted next to the altar.
What was certain by lunchtime was that Egypt’s Coptic Christians had suffered their deadliest attack in recent memory, with Islamic extremists among the chief suspects.
“Dead bodies were scattered everywhere, I saw people with their heads cut off,” Qelleny Farag, a member of the congregation, told the Telegraph as he searched for his wife.
Mr Farag, 80, managed to escape the chapel unharmed but was unable to find his wife, whose fate remains unknown .
As the bomb exploded on the left-hand side of the church, where female worshipers sit according to tradition, it is feared the majority of the dead are women and children.
Personal effects were left scattered among the shattered glass on the floor, including a broken pair of ladies’ spectacles, a child’s boot and a pink ribbon.
“As soon as the priest called us to prepare for prayer, the explosion happened,” said Emad Shoukry, who was also inside the church when the bomb went off.
Mr al-Sisi, who is fighting an Islamist insurgency in the north of Egypt, declared three days of national mourning and strongly condemned the attack as an act of terrorism.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but it was celebrated on social media by supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
“God bless the person who did this blessed act,” wrote one jihadist on the online messaging network Telegram, while another said: “God is great, God is great, God is great.”
The attack comes after six officers were killed in a bombing in Cairo last Friday, which was claimed by a mysterious group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.