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In video made available by Egyptian Interior Ministry, a suicide bomber, bottom of screen, tries to walk into St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral, but security guards force him to pass through the metal detector, left, then he detonated a bomb, in Alexandria, Egypt, Sunday April 9, 2017.  Bombs exploded at two Coptic churches in different cities in northern Egypt as worshippers were celebrating Palm Sunday, killing dozens of people and wounding many more in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group.(Egyptian Interior Ministry via AP)

Three Egyptian police officers died stopping a suicide bomber from getting inside a church


One of the deadly bombings at an Egyptian church on Sunday could have been even more deadly.

Three police officers died after preventing an attacker from entering a cathedral in Alexandria. Instead, he blew himself up outside the church, killing the officers and more than a dozen other people, Nile International reports, citing Egypt's interior ministry.

A CCTV recording shows a man trying to enter the cathedral, then being ordered by police to leave before an explosion engulfs the screen. 

Three Egyptian police officers died stopping a suicide bomber from getting inside a church

WATCH | Here's the moment right before the Alexandria bomb went off. An official can be heard saying "That's him, coming, showing here at the gate, he tried to pass from the side, and the security made him go back, and the x-ray went off, and he blew himself up."

The slain officers were Ahmed Ibrahim, Brigadier General Nagwa El-Haggar and Emad El-Rakiby, head of the local investigation department. A photo of El-Rakiby went viral on Reddit after news of his death broke.

Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic Church, had held Palm Sunday services in the cathedral shortly before the attack. His aides said he escaped unharmed. 

Relatives and onlookers gather outside a church after a bomb attack in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, Egypt, Sunday, April 9, 2017. The attack took place on Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week leading up to Easter, when the church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta was packed with worshippers. (AP Photo/Ahmed Hatem)

The death toll in the attacks reached 43 by Sunday afternoon. A bomb in a church in Tanta killed 27 people and injured 78. The Alexandria bomb killed 16 people and injured 21. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

U.S. President Trump condemned the attacks on Twitter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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