Egypt's parliament approves extending state of emergency for 3 months

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Jul 2017

Special police officers stand guard at the scene of a bomb blast in Giza Al Haram Street on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt December 9, 2016. (Reuters)

Egypt's parliament approved on Tuesday a decision by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to extend a nationwide state of emergency for three months, state news agency MENA reported.

In April, the chamber voted in favour of a three-month state of emergency following two church bombings that killed 47 people in Alexandria and Tanta.

The attacks were claimed by the militant group Daesh.

Under the Egyptian constitution, a state of emergency must be approved by parliament by majority vote within seven days of its declaration by the president, with renewal also requiring parliamentary approval.

The state of emergency grants authorities expanded powers including trying civilians in special courts, restricting or regulating movement in public places, and more authority to regulate media outlets.

Egypt is battling an Islamist insurgency in North Sinai, where hundreds of army and police personnel have been killed since 2013. Islamist militants have recently carried out attacks in other parts of the country against Coptic Christian civilians, killing dozens.

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