Egypt president orders military protection of vital institutions after deadly church blasts

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-10 00:52:29|Editor: yan
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CAIRO, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered on Sunday the deployment of special military units to assist the police in protecting vital institutions nationwide, official MENA news agency reported.

Al-Sisi's decision came hours after deadly blasts at two churches in northern Egypt left at least 43 dead and over 130 injured.

"This treacherous terrorism targets the nation with its citizens, both Copts and Muslims, and it will never break the determination of the Egyptians and their true will to confront the powers of evil," the Egyptian president said in a statement earlier on Sunday.

The president also announced a three-day mourning for the victims.

Later on Sunday, the Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the twin church bombings in the northern provinces of Gharbiya and Alexandria on its so-called "Amaq" news website.

Over the past few years, Egypt is struggling to combat 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.

The terror attacks, mostly claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the IS, has recently been targeting Egypt's Christian minority. A previous church blast in Cairo in December 2016 killed at least 28 worshippers, mostly women and children.

Meanwhile, 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 al-Sisi following Morsi's ouster.