Egypt declares 3-month state of emergency after twin bombings

Egypt's president says a three-month state of emergency will be imposed after suicide bombings at two Coptic churches killed 44 people.

President Tan added that Singapore strongly condemns the heinous attacks and stands in solidarity with Egypt in the fight against terrorism.

In theory, it would allow for arrests without warrants, swifter prosecution of suspects, and special courts.

World leaders such as US President Donald Trump, French President Francois Hollande and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres slammed the attack and expressed their sympathy.

Coptic Orthodox Christians make up about 10 per cent of Egypt's 90 million people, who are mostly Sunni Muslim.

Palm Sunday is among the holiest days on the Christian calendar, marking the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and churches traditionally draw big crowds.

The attack is being touted as the deadliest one on the minority Coptic Christians in recent years.

The US on Sunday also condemned "in the strongest terms" two church bombings in Egypt that killed at least 43 people and injured scores, according to a State Department statement.

Pope Tawadros II, of the Coptic Orthodox Church, had held Palm Sunday services at the cathedral, but his aides said he escaped unharmed. Susan Mikhail, who lives near St. George's Church in Tanta, told the Associated Press the explosion violently shook her building. We also convey our deepest condolences to the victims' families while wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

A senior police official said a bomb was discovered and disabled near the Tanta church about a week ago.

The second attack, carried out just a few hours later by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, hit the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 11, including three police officers, and injuring 35. The footage included statements claiming responsibility for a December attack on a Cairo cathedral that killed 29 people.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks. Sisi said that a higher council for fighting terrorism and extremism will also be established.

Egypt's Christian community has felt increasingly insecure since Islamic State spread through Iraq and Syria in 2014, ruthlessly targeting religious minorities.

"The powers that the security agencies have already don't need reinforcement by the state of emergency", Abdel-Aziz said.

US strongly condemns.' He said he has "great confidence" that President Sissi will handle situation properly.

"The attack will only harden the determination (of the Egyptian people) to move forward on their trajectory to realise security, stability and comprehensive development", he said.

  • Leroy Wright