Egypt imposes 3-month emergency after twin bombings by ISIS

President Donald Trump has called his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to express his condolences on the terrorist attacks at two Coptic Christian churches in the Arab country, the White House said today.

Egyptian churches, in the southern city of Minya, said on Tuesday that they will not hold Easter celebrations next Saturday in mourning for 45 Coptic Christians killed this week in twin bombings of churches in two cities during Palm Sunday ceremonies.

Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Church, had just addressed worshippers at the Alexandria congregation before the blast, Morning Star said, but he was not injured. Copts, who make up about one tenth of Egypt's population of more than 92 million, have been targeted several times in recent months.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi announced an emergency situation in Egypt for the coming three months following the attacks.

"He has already deployed troops across the country to protect 'vital and important infrastructure".

The United Nations Security Council called the attack cowardly and urged all members to assist the Egyptian government.

The suspected suicide bombers in the Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta attacks, were identified and named by the Egyptian authorities, saying that both terrorists had travelled to Syria wherein it is believed they received training from jihadist groups before returning to Egypt.

According to state-run news agency Al-Ahram, the death toll from the Palm Sunday bombing in Egypt has risen to a total of 49 as of Monday, CNN reported. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Initial reports about the Alexandria suicide bomber said he was known as Abu Ishaq Al-Masri.

Security forces stand outside the Coptic church that was bombed on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt, April 10, 2017.

French President Francois Hollande expressed solidarity with Egyptian authorities "in this bad ordeal" and vowed to "mobilise all forces" to back Egypt's fight against terrorism, according to a statement released by his office, the Elysee.

US President Donald Trump led worldwide condemnation of Sunday's attacks. Lawmakers said the state of emergency - Egypt's first since widespread unrest in 2013 - would help the country face down an insurgency. The closure comes hours before the start of the Passover holiday, when Sinai is a popular destination for many Israelis.

The blasts have come ahead of the visit of Pope Francis to Egypt on April 28-29, and prompted worldwide condemnation.

  • Leroy Wright