Army called in after Egypt church bombings

Sisi announced the state of emergency nationwide for three months in a short televised address last night, following the blasts that targeted the minority Coptic Christians on Palm Sunday, one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar.

Two suicide bomber attacks were carried out on Palm Sunday, a holy Christian holiday, which resulted in at least 44 people dead and left countless more injured.

USA president Donald Trump tweeted that he was "so sad to hear of the terrorist attack" against the American ally but added that he had "great confidence" that Mr el-Sissi "will handle the situation properly".

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke on the phone Sunday with Sissi to offer condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.

The attacks came less than a week after Trump hosted el-Sissi at the White House and discussed fighting extremism.

Egyptian President earlier ordered the army deployed across the country to protect "vital and important points".

Coptic Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's population.

Coptic Christians account for the majority of Christians in Egypt, and the community has been the target of sectarian violence over the years, according to CNN.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack yesterday which caused carnage at two seperate Coptic churches just a week before Easter.

"The armed forces and police forces will do what is necessary to confront the threats of terrorism and its financing in order to maintain security across the country, protect public and private property and the lives of citizens", a cabinet statement said.

Pope Francis denounced the bombings Sunday and expressed "his deep condolences" to Tawadros II and "all of the dear Egyptian nation".

The latest attack targeted the Mar Girgis church in Tanta in Lower Egypt, and the entrance of the St. Mark church in Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea coast, where Pope Tawdros II led the service.

In a statement he added: 'The attack.will only harden the determination [of the Egyptian people] to move forward on their trajectory to realise security, stability and comprehensive development'. Members said any form of terrorism "constitutes one of the most serious threats to worldwide peace and security".

"As a Coptic Christian, I no longer feel safe in Egypt", Hany Ezat, whose cousin was injured in Sunday's attack, told Time.

The group was hiding in the southern province "to prepare explosive devices in preparation for carrying out a series of terrorist attacks", the ministry said.

  • Leroy Wright