Don't Miss

Funerals held after Egypt church attack

By on April 11, 2017

Funerals have been held on monday in Alexandria for victims of one of the two bomb attacks on Coptic churchesin Egypt by so-called Islamic State (IS). The ceremony at the Monastery of St Mina took place under heavy security.

At least 45 people died in the bombings in Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta on Sunday, prompting a three-month state of emergency.

President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi ordered troops to be deployed to protect “vital infrastructure” and warned of a “long and painful” war against jihadists, who have killed hundreds of people in the country in the past four years.

Hundreds attended the funeral of some of the 17 people who died when a bomber blew himself up after being stopped by police at the gates of St Mark’s Cathedral, where Pope Tawadros II led a Palm Sunday service.
Image caption Many mourners express outrage at the state’s failure to protect the Coptic Christian minority

The nationwide state of emergency declared by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and agreed by the cabinet on Monday is expected to be approved by parliament within seven days in order to remain in place.

“The armed forces and police will do what is necessary to confront the threats of terrorism and its financing,” the cabinet said in a statement. Measures would be taken to “maintain security across the country, protect public and private property and the lives of citizens,” it said.

The twin attacks marked one of the bloodiest days in recent memory for Egypt’s Christian minority,the largest in the Middle East.

Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State, which has waged a campaign against Egypt’s Christian minority.

In Tanta, where many families buried their dead on Sunday, members of the Coptic community expressed anger at the lack of security, saying that despite warnings of an attack, police had not stepped up efforts to protect them.

The attacks also raised security fears ahead of a visit to Cairo by Roman Catholic Pope Francis planned for April 28-29 intended to promote interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians.

Hours after the funerals, reports emerged of police killing seven IS militants planning more such attacks.

The interior ministry said the militants were killed after they opened fire on the security forces who approached them in the southern province of Assiut.

About AfricaTimes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.