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Egypt's parliament approves extension of nationwide state of emergency for three months

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Apr 2018
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File photo: Egyptian parliament (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's parliament approved in a majority vote on Sunday a presidential decree extending for three months a nationwide state of emergency, state-owned MENA news agency reported.

The ongoing state of emergency was extended by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Saturday for an additional three months starting 14 April.

The vote came following a speech by PM Sherif Ismail in front of the House where he presented reasons behind the extension.

"In light of the circumstances faced by Egypt at this time, and to continue efforts of rooting out terrorism, the Cabinet has decided to set a nationwide state of emergency for three months in accordance with a 2018 presidential decree," Ismail said.

According to Article 154 of Egypt's 2014 constitution, the President of the Republic can declare, after consultation with the Cabinet, a state of emergency in the manner regulated by the law. Such a proclamation must be submitted to the House of Representatives within seven days.

The declaration is for a specified period not exceeding three months, which can only be extended by another similar period upon the approval of two-thirds of House members, according to the article.

The state of emergency was first implemented in April 2017 after suicide bombers attacked two churches in Alexandria and Tanta, killing 47 people and injuring dozens.

An extension was issued in October, and then another in January.

Prime Minister Ismail has also issued a decree to impose a curfew in parts of North Sinai from 7pm until 6am, except in El-Arish city and on the international road, where the curfew is in effect from1am to 5am.

Egypt’s security forces are continuing to carry out the comprehensive counterterrorism military Operation Sinai 2018.

Operation Sinai 2018 was launched earlier this year “to implement the plan of comprehensive confrontation of terrorist and criminal elements and organizations in North and Central Sinai, and in other areas in the Nile Delta and desert areas west of the Nile Valley,” according to the army.

On Saturday, the army said it killed 27 takfiris during the past few days. The Arabic word “takfiri” refers to Sunni Muslims who accuse others of being infidels, often as a justification for using violence against them.

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