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Egyptian cabinet approves three-month state of emergency starting Monday

Ahram Online , Monday 10 Apr 2017
Church
A forensics personnel inspects the site of an explosion that took place at a Coptic church on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt, April 9, 2017 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt’s cabinet approved on Monday a decision to impose a nationwide state of emergency for three months starting 10 April at 1 pm.

In a statement issued on Monday, the cabinet explained the reasons for the move.

"The state of emergency allows both the armed forces and the police to execute those procedures necessary to combat the threats of terrorism and its financing, maintain security around the country and protect public and private property, as well as preserving the lives of citizens," the statement read.

Monday’s approval follows the announcement by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi late on Sunday that a three-month state of emergency would be imposed in the wake of terrorist attacks on two cathedrals in Tanta and Alexandria during Palm Sunday services.

El-Sisi had issued an earlier decree ordering the armed forces to help the police in securing vital facilities all over the country.

On Sunday, during Palm Sunday masses, two deadly blasts hit St. George Cathedral in Tanta and St. Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria, killing 44 and injuring dozens more.

The combined attacks represent one of the deadliest attacks on Coptic Christians in years.

The Islamic State group's Egypt affiliate claimed responsibility for the bombings.

According to Egypt’s 2014 constitution, Article 154 stipulates that the Egyptian president can declare a state of emergency, in a manner regulated by law, after consultation with cabinet.

However, any such proclamation must be submitted to parliament within the following seven days for their consideration. The declaration of a state of emergency must be approved by a majority of MPs.

A state of emergency can only be declared for a stated three-month period, after which it can only be extended with the approval of parliament.

 

Correction: death toll was revised to 44 instead of 46 following official confirmation.

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