Three Muslim female police officers are being praised as heroes after attempting to save the lives of Coptic Christians that were being targeted in two attacks that took place in Egypt on Sunday.
The suicide bombings were claimed by ISIS, who has been ramping up attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt in recent months.
General Nagwa El-Hagger, Sergeant Asmaa Hussein and Sergeant Omneya Roshdy all stood up and gave their lives to protect the lives of those in their community, despite their differences in religion. The Christian community was celebrating Palm Sunday, a holiday that recognizes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem one week before his resurrection, according to Christian belief.
St. George’s Church in Tanta, Egypt was the site of the first attack. A suicide bomber detonated himself at the altar of the church, which resulted in 27 deaths and 78 injuries. Of these deaths were Sergeants Hussein and Roshdy. Hussien was at the main gate checking women who were entering the church. She was so close to the suicide bomber that her body was near unrecognizable. Roshdy was securing the cathedral as part of her job securing churches, so she was further away from the attack.
The second attack, just hours after, was at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria. At least 17 people were killed with 48 others injured. A man attempted to get into the church from an unchecked side gate, however he was asked by security forces to get into an X-ray device. Instead, the man walked to the main gate and set the bomb off. El-Hagger, a brigadier general for the Egyptian police force, was conducting inspections for people entering the church. When the bomb detonated, she rushed to the aid of her male co-workers after noticing they were having issues detaining a suspect.