Egypt's president declares 3-month emergency state after church blasts

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-10 04:02:51|Editor: yan
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CAIRO, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi declared in a televised statement on Sunday evening a three-month state of emergency in the Arab country after two church blasts killed at least 44 and injured over 120.

Earlier on Sunday, a terrorist blast at Mar Girgis Church of Tanta city in Gharbiya province left at least 27 dead and 78 injured, while a following suicide bombing at Saint Mark's Church of Alexandria coastal province killed so far 17 and wounded about 50, according to the Health Ministry.

"A number of measures will be taken, topped by the declaration of a state of emergency, after all legal and constitutional procedures are done, for three months in the Egyptian state," said the Egyptian president after he presided over a meeting of the country's national defense council.

He also announced the formation of a supreme council for fighting terrorism and extremism in Egypt as per a new law to give it sufficient authorities to do the job.

Most of the victims of the two bombings at the churches in Tanta and Alexandria were Coptic worshippers marking the Palm Sunday, besides several policemen who were in charge of church security.

Sisi also stressed the necessity for responsible, credible and aware media coverage of such news "in order not to hurt the feelings of people."

He also called on Egyptians to unite in the face of terrorism.

Egypt has been fighting a terrorist wave that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military removed former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and blacklisted his Muslim Brotherhood group as "a terrorist organization."

Mostly claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the Islamic State (IS) regional militia, the attacks have recently been targeting Egypt's Christian minority.

Sunday's blasts have been claimed by the IS, which also claimed the responsibility of a previous church blast in Cairo in December 2016 that left at least 28 worshippers dead, mostly women and children.

Over the past few years, the Egyptian security forces killed hundreds of terrorists and arrested a similar number of suspects as part of the country's "anti-terror war" declared by former army chief and current President Sisi following Morsi's ouster.