Sunday, April 9, 2017

Egypt: The State Of Emergency After Two Deadly Attacks

The Egyptian president declared a state of emergency on Sunday after two bombings claimed by the Islamic State group (EI) that targeted Coptic churches and left 44 dead.

The measure announced by Mr. Sissi, in a solemn declaration on television, still has to be approved by Parliament.


"There are a series of procedures that will be taken, first and foremost the state of emergency for three months," said the Egyptian president, grave face, pointing out that the measure had been taken to "protect" and " Preserve "the country.
The bombing of Alexandria, the big city in the north of the country, was perpetrated in the early afternoon by a suicide bomber "equipped with an explosive belt" and killed 17 people - including four policemen - and 48 Injured, according to the Ministry of Health.

The Coptic Church quickly stated that its leader had not been reached and that he was "doing well".

The other attack took place in the morning in Tanta, a large city about 100 km from Cairo, in the Nile delta, in the midst of a celebration of the Palm trees in the church of Mar Girgis (St. George). It left 27 dead and 78 injured, according to the Ministry of Health.

The bombing of Alexandria, the big city in the north of the country, was perpetrated in the early afternoon by a suicide bomber "equipped with an explosive belt" and killed 17 people - including four policemen - and 48 Injured, according to the Ministry of Health.

After being arrested by police officers, the assailant blew himself up at the entrance to St. Mark 's Church where Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II was on the occasion of Palm Sunday, according to the ministry. The Interior.

The Coptic Church quickly stated that its leader had not been reached and that he was "doing well".
The other attack took place in the morning in Tanta, a large city about 100 km from Cairo, in the Nile delta, in the midst of a celebration of the Palm trees in the church of Mar Girgis (St. George). It left 27 dead and 78 injured, according to the Ministry of Health.

The IA, whose Egyptian branch had recently called for targeting the Coptic community, claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to the jihadists, by Egyptian suicide bombers.

- Violent explosion -

"There was a violent explosion near the altar. Suddenly everything became black, people flew over each other," Edmon told Edward, who attended mass with his brother Emil Tanta.
Inside the church, the shattered wooden benches, the blood-stained ground and the personal effects of the victims littering the ground testified to the tragedy.

In front of the security cordon established by the police, the faithful shouted their anger: "now you close the street, what use now? You should have done it before the explosion," a Coptic woman told the police in Alexandria.

The attacks took place 19 days before a visit to Egypt by Catholic Pope Francis on 28 and 29 April.

Inside the church, the shattered wooden benches, the blood-stained ground and the personal effects of the victims littering the ground testified to the tragedy.

In front of the security cordon established by the police, the faithful shouted their anger: "now you close the street, what use now? You should have done it before the explosion," a Coptic woman told the police in Alexandria.
The attacks took place 19 days before a visit to Egypt by Catholic Pope Francis on 28 and 29 April.

"I express my profound condolences to my dear brother, his holiness Pope Tawadros II, to the Coptic Church and to all the dear Egyptian nation, I pray for the deceased and the wounded," the Argentine pontiff reacted.

US President Donald Trump condemned the attack on his Twitter account, saying he was "confident in the ability of the president (Abdel Fattah al-Sissi) to manage the situation properly."

Sissi also called on Sunday to deploy forces to help police protect the country's "vital infrastructure".
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar announced the replacement of the chief of security of the province of Gharbeya, where the city of Tanta is located.

Al-Azhar, a prestigious institution of Sunni Islam based in Cairo, has condemned "a cowardly terrorist attack".

The 15 members of the UN Security Council described the attacks as "cowardly," claiming that "terrorism in all its forms constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security."

These attacks on the Coptic minority occurred four months after a spectacular suicide bomb attack, claimed by the EI against St. Peter and St. Paul's Church in Cairo. Twenty-nine people had been killed.

- Discrimination -

The Orthodox Copts of Egypt are the largest Christian community in the Middle East and one of the oldest. They represent 10% of the 92 million Egyptians.

They say they are being discriminated against throughout the country by the authorities and the Muslim majority.

The Cairo attack in December 2016 revived calls for tougher fight against the jihadist movement in Egypt, particularly in Sinai, where it carried out a series of bloody attacks against the security forces.

The local branch of the EI claimed responsibility for a bomb attack that killed 224 occupants of an airplane carrying Russian tourists after taking off in Sharm el-Sheikh, an eastern seaside resort, in October 2015. Egypt.

On 1 April, a police officer was killed and 15 people injured in the explosion of a motorcycle trapped in front of a police training center in Tanta.

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