Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Egypt Government Approves Nationwide Emergency After Deadly Attacks on Churches

Egypt Government Approves Nationwide Emergency After Deadly Attacks on Churches

Egyptian Christians, who endured two deadly church bombings on Palm Sunday for which ISIS claimed credit, have always been targeted for attacks in the Arab world's most populous country.

Egypt's Cabinet approved the measure - which allows authorities to make arrests without warrants and search people's homes - and explained the reasons for the imposition of emergency.

Egypt's Cabinet says the state of emergency will go into effect at 1:00 p.m. Monday afternoon.

The United Nations Security Council called the attack cowardly and urged all members to assist the Egyptian government.

Asked about the possible reasons, Magdy said she believes the press and media have a responsibility towards people's lack of trust in them, because several outlets have been controlled by the state and failed to represent Copts and other minorities; on the contrary making use of such important incidents to beautify the image of the ruling regime. Al-Ahram Arabic reported that security forces also dismantled two explosive devices at Sidi Abdel Rahim Mosque in Tanta, a city of more than 400,000 about 80 miles southeast of Alexandria.

Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, the leader of the Coptic church there, claimed that after el Sisi's rise, attacks on Copts occurred monthly, according to Coptic Solidarity, an activist group devoted to achieving equal citizenship for followers of their religion in Egypt. Combined, more than 30 worshippers were reported injured in the blasts.

Afghanistan on Tuesday strongly condemned the terrorist attacks that targeted two churches in cities of Tanta and Alexandria in Egypt, which killed and injured dozens of people. Later, a suicide bomber killed at least 13 and wounded 35 at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria.

"The attack will not undermine the resolve and true will of the Egyptian people to counter the forces of evil", the President said in a statement. Pope Francis gave a solemn speech to his congregation this Sunday in St. Peter's Square.

Al-Azhar, the world's highest seat of Sunni Islam, called the attacks an "outrageous crime" against all Egyptians. "Today's terror attack near Cairo reminds us that Egypt too is under attack".

"So sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. U.S. strongly condemns". The attacks came just before Pope Francis is expected to visit the country in support of Egyptian Christians who constitute about 10 percent of population.

In the southern Egyptian city of Assiut, police shot and killed seven ISIS militants after a dramatic shootout on Monday.

Sunday's bombings came almost four months after a suicide bomber killed 23 people in a Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Cairo. Such concerns had earlier seen the beleaguered community swing behind President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi's 2013 overthrow of elected president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood with the promise he would protect them.

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