Pope Francis celebrated Easter mass on Sunday with a message of social solidarity as the world's Orthodox marked a holiday marred by bitter divisions over Ukraine and clashes broke out in Jerusalem. Francis led the ceremony for the holiest day in the Christian calendar on St Peter's Square, which will be followed by a special blessing and address to crowds of Catholic faithful in the famous Vatican piazza. Swiss Guards and cardinals could be seen as tens of thousands of people crowded into St Peter's Square and the main avenue leading up to the Vatican, which was decorated with 35,000 flowers donated by Dutch growers. At an Easter vigil on Saturday, Francis asked Catholics to bring "the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world... to all people, to the very ends of the Earth".
Gunmen killed an Egyptian intelligence officer and a policeman on a road outside Cairo in a late-night firefight, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday. The armed men fled the scene after shooting dead Captain Ashraf Badeer el-Qazaz of the intelligence service and a police conscript, the ministry said in a statement. The two men were on security patrol late on Saturday on a desert road linking Cairo to the canal city of Suez when they tried to stop a vehicle, which then opened fire on them. Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on members of the security forces and killed hundreds of them since the army toppled Egypt's first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi, last July.