A suicide bomber killed 21 people and injured more than 43 others outside a Coptic Christian Church in Alexandria, Egypt, Jan. 1, according to preliminary data from the Egyptian Ministry of Health.
The attack, originally thought to have been a car bombing, was launched by a suicide bomber wearing a device loaded with nails and ball bearings, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Interior. The attack closely follows an Al-Qaeda threat against Egypt.
The U.S. Department of State is currently gathering information about the attack, according to a statement from Mark C. Toner, the acting department spokesman.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said the "terrorist attack bears the mark of foreign elements," during a televised national address, according to a release by the Egyptian Press and Information Office.
Mubarak also said Egypt will retaliate, stating the death of the victims “will not be in vain and we will strike the hand of the terrorism that threatens us."