An explosion has killed at least seven people at a Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt, where worshippers had gathered to celebrate mass on New Year's Eve.
Egypt's Interior Ministry said in a statement early Saturday that seven people were killed and 24 wounded in the blast, which occurred about a half-hour after midnight on New Year's Day.
The explosion came from a car parked in front of the church. It was not clear whether the bomb had been inside the car or under it.
Al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq claimed responsibility for the bomb, saying it was retaliation for two Egyptian Christian women who converted to Islam. Al-Qaida says the women are being held hostage by the Christians for having converted.
Some Egyptian Christians - known as Copts - are protesting at the site of the explosion.