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Egypt heightens security ahead of Coptic Easter

Ahram Online , Friday 26 Apr 2019
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Egyptian Security forces around church ahead of Easter Sunday celebrations
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The Egyptian authorities have stepped up security measures around churches and state institutions ahead of Coptic Easter, which falls this weekend.

The interior ministry said in a statement on Friday that it has intensified the security presence in main roads and vital areas around the country, and that checkpoints will be deployed around churches and major buildings, which will also be cordoned off by police to “maintain public order” and immediately deal with any attempt to disrupt the celebrations.

Security patrols will be sent out and rapid deployment and intervention forces will be deployed to secure major areas, the ministry added. Female police personnel will be involved in the inspections.

Authorities are also increasing security measures and inspection points at Cairo's underground metro and at railway stations during the holiday period.

Easter in the Coptic Orthodox Church falls on Sunday; it was celebrated in the Roman Catholic church and many Protestant churches on 21 April.

Egyptians also celebrate the non-religious springtime holiday of Sham El-Nassim on the Monday after Coptic Easter.

Coptic Easter Sunday and Sham El-Nassim are both public holidays in Egypt.

Egypt's Christian minority make up around 10 percent of the country's 98 million population. The majority of Egyptian Christians are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

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