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Security tight as Egyptian Copts prepare for Easter mass

Security tight as Egyptian Copts prepare for Easter mass

Egypt

Egypt on Saturday tightened security outside two churches in the Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria ahead of Easter eve prayer services.

The security measures come after at least 45 people were killed in attacks on the two places of worship on Palm Sunday.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Police forces checked pedestrians and blocked access to roads near major churches across the country.

Religious minorities are increasingly targeted by Sunni Islamist militants, posing a challenge to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has pledged to protect them as part of his campaign against extremism.

The government had declared a state of emergency and called in the army to protect “vital” installations following the suicide bombings in Tanta and Alexandria

However, the two recent attacks on Egyptian Churches have left the community in a dull mood.

The attacks which left at least 45 dead and over a hundred more people injured came as worshipers attended Sunday mass.

Most families stayed home, breaking bread with friends and neighbours, staying out of most public activities.

But in Egypt’s second largest city where the second bomb went off, Christians went to the Alexandria’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral, the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, to attend prayers on Good Friday.

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