File Photo: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt has extended an ongoing nationwide state of emergency another three months, starting Saturday 14 April, the official gazette reported late on Friday.
A presidential decree to extend the state of emergency, which was signed by Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, says that the extension is to “allow the Armed Forces and police to undertake necessary measures to face the dangers of terrorism and its funding, safeguard security nationwide, secure private and public property, and protect the lives of citizens.”
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.
A new decree further lengthening it was issued in October and then extended in January. According the Egyptian constitution, a state of emergency cannot exceed six months from its date of declaration and decrees imposing or extending it should be approved by the parliament.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail 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 organisations 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.