File photo: Members of security forces keep watch in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, January 24, 2016 Reuters
The Egyptian authorities have stepped up security measures around state institutions and mosques ahead of the Islamic festival of Eid Al-Adha, which starts on Sunday.
The interior ministry said in a statement on Friday that it has intensified the security presence on main roads and vital areas around the country, and that checkpoints will be deployed around houses of worship, major buildings, parks and shopping malls.
Security patrols and rapid deployment and intervention forces will be sent out to secure major areas, the ministry added. Female police personnel will be involved in the inspections.
The large-scale security measures are intended to "maintain security and order, combat all forms of crime, enforce discipline, and protect and secure citizens" during the four-day holiday, the statement added.
The holiday coincides with the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and marks the prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his own son as an act of obedience to God.
The celebration is traditionally marked by the slaughter of animals, such as sheep, cows and goats.
Egyptian banks and the country’s stock exchange will be closed from Sunday to Tuesday.