Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi Declares Three-month State of Emergency
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has declared a three-month state of emergency in Egypt and ordered military special forces to protect vital infrastructure after two powerful church bombings by the Islamic State terror group killed at least 45 people and wounded more than 100 others.
Sisi announced the state of emergency nationwide for three months in a short televised address last night, following the blasts that targeted the minority Coptic Christians on Palm Sunday April 09,2017, one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar
Before that, Sisi had called a National Defence Council meeting in the afternoon. Chaired by the president and made up of the prime minister, the speaker of parliament, the defence minister and the commanders of Egyptian armed forces, this was the second such meeting in five months, local reports said.
He said that a higher council for fighting terrorism and extremism will also be established. The Egyptian government in its initial response has ordered military special forces to assist police in securing vital state facilities across the country. The security forces have been put on alert in anticipation of more attacks.
The Islamic State group claimed the bombings that killed at least 45 people and injured nearly 120 at two churches in Tanta and Alexandria cities as worshippers celebrated the Palm Sunday April 09,2017
The first blast took place in the Coptic church of Mar Girgis, also known as St George, in the Nile delta city of Tanta, about 120 kilometres from Cairo, and killed 27 people and injured 78, according to the Egyptian Health Ministry. Hours later, a suicide bomber struck the Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria's Manshyia district.
Citing Health Minister Ahmed Emad, ON TV news channel reported at least 18 people, including police personnel, were killed and 41 injured in the suicide attack in Alexandria.
The blasts have come ahead of the visit of Pope Francis to Egypt on April 28-29, and prompted international condemnation. Al-Azhar, the world's highest seat of Sunni Islam, called the attacks an "outrageous crime" against all Egyptians. "This terrorist attack is devoid of all the principles of humanity and civilisation," it said in a statement.