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State of emergency in Egypt after IS targets Christians

State of emergency in Egypt after IS targets Christians

The army chief-turned-president also announced the founding of the "Supreme Council to Counter Terror and Extremism", a new security apparatus aimed at combating a growing militant insurgency in the country.

Sisi warned that the war against the jihadists would be "long and painful", and said that the state of emergency would come into force after all "legal and constitution steps" were taken.

The authorities believe that the emergency law will allow police with greater powers for surveillance, seizures and arresting people.

Another suicide attack killed at least 27 people inside St George's Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta.

Egypt's Ministry of Health said 16 people were killed, including three police officers, and 41 injured.

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"The attack.will only harden the determination (of Egyptians) to move forward on their trajectory to realize security, stability and comprehensive development", said President Sisi, who has sought to present himself as a bastion against terrorism despite hefty criticism of his political suppression.

Sissi has defended the performance of his security forces and accused jihadists of trying to divide Egyptian society by attacking vulnerable minorities. In December, a suicide bombing claimed by an ISIS affiliate killed 29 people during Sunday mass in Cairo.

The parliament is expected to approve the state of emergency within a week.

It was one of two bombings yesterday at Egyptian churches holding Palm Sunday services. In a rare move, he also deployed troops to assist police in protecting "vital and important infrastructure". The patriarch was unharmed, but 17 people were killed and 48 injured.

The bombings occurred on Palm Sunday, a Christian feast that commemorates the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.

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The former doctor's first bid at parole was scheduled for August 2052, when he would have been 96 years old. In a separate case involving another victim, MacNeill was convicted of second-degree forcible sex abuse.

Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, and marks the start of Holy Week for Christians.

Coptic Christians make up about 10 per cent of Egypt's population of 85 million.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump spoke with Egypt's president, expressing his condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones in Sunday's "heinous terrorist attacks against Christians". "If the Coptic Pope [Tawadros II, head of the Egyptian Christian Community] has been targeted, how can Christians feel safe?"

Egypt has seen a wave of attacks by militants since 2013 when the military toppled president Mohammed Morsi, an elected leader who hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood, and launched a crackdown against Islamists.

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Russia's deputy ambassador to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, described the United States strikes as "illegitimate". President Donald Trump's decision to target the Syrian air base, wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper.

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