Egypt raises security alert level ahead of Eid Al-Adha, Assumption of the Virgin Mary

Menna Alaa El-Din, Saturday 18 Aug 2018

File Photo: An Egyptian policeman standing guard in Cairo (Photo: AFP)

Egypt’s interior ministry said on Saturday in a statement that it is raising the security alert level ahead of the country’s upcoming Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday and the Coptic Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

Interior Minister Mahmoud Tawfik called for maximum readiness by police to ensure the security of citizens and religious institutions, especially during Eid Al-Adha prayers, which start on Tuesday. Security will also be boosted at public parks and transport stations.

Eid Al-Adha will continue till Thursday, and is celebrated following the Islamic pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

According to the statement, a central operations room encompassing all security apparatuses will be set up to monitor the security situation and measures being taken at parks nationwide.

Minister Tawfik has given strict orders to his deputies and security directorates cancelling breaks for all officers until the end of celebrations.

The statement added that undercover female police units, as well as policemen from the anti-harassment department, will be deployed in certain areas to catch anything that "undermines general security."

The minister has also ordered that security checkpoints and patrols be deployed in the vicinity of Christian churches, and for security forces to be prepared to cordon off these areas if needed.

Electronic gates will also be placed at church entrances, with church scouts to assist in identifying any person who is not familiar to the church.

Egypt often bolsters security nationwide ahead of major celebrations and public holidays.

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