Egyptian police kill 7 suspected Islamic State militants in shootout

So-called Islamic State (IS) said it was behind the blasts in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday.

The law’s return raises fears among some Egyptians, who see it as a formal return to the pre-2011 police state, at a time when rights activists say they already face the worst crackdown in their history. Security at many places of worship in the United States is also on high alert.

The terrible attack was conducted under the name of the Egyptian branch of ISIS and took the lives of over 40 people and 100 injured; where most of the casualties where Egyptian Copts.

A general views shows the Monastery of Marmina in the city of Borg El-Arab, east of Alexandria on April 10, 2017, as mourners attend the funeral of victims of the blast at the Coptic Christian Saint Mark’s church in Alexandria the previous day. But after being targets of attacks, the question of the community’s security hangs heavy on the administration. “This is a very risky development”, said Mina Thabet, a rights researcher focusing on minorities. He buried his son late Sunday.

Later, an explosion hit Saint Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, killing at least 16 and wounding 31 just after Pope Tawadros II finished services. “He was like an angel”, he said.

Pictures of Maher went viral on social media, showing him sitting helplessly in blood-stained robes.

The interior ministry said Abdullah had links with the Islamist militant cell behind the December suicide bombing on Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral, an attack also claimed by Islamic State.

Islamic State has waged a low-level war against soldiers and police in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula for years but it is increasingly targeting Christians and broadening its reach into Egypt’s mainland.

The former army chief met with U.S. President Donald Trump a week ago at the White House, seeking closer ties and discussing the fight against extremism.

Yesterday President Trump expressed confidence in el-Sissi’s commitment to protect “Christians and all Egyptians”.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who came to power in 2013 after the military ousted the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi, was a recent guest at the White House – after years of being excluded by President Obama.

According to the Egyptian constitution, any state of emergency must be confirmed in parliament by majority vote within seven days of its declaration by the president. The Cabinet declared it had gone into effect as of 1 p.m. on Monday.