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Egypt extends state of emergency

January 2, 2018

Egypt is extending its state of emergency, first imposed following bomb attacks on two churches in April last year. An Islamist insurgency in Sinai has increasingly crept into other parts of Egypt, including Cairo.

Police in Egypt
Image: Reuters'/M. Abd El Ghany

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Tuesday issued a decree prolonging a nationwide state of emergency for another three months starting on January 13.

The decree comes as an Islamic State (IS) insurgency based in the Sinai Peninsula has increasingly crept into other parts of the country, including the capital, Cairo. 

The general-turned-president has vowed to crush Islamist militants, who have killed hundreds of civilians and security forces since the army toppled president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Read more: The long record of terror on the Sinai Peninsula

Many militant attacks have targeted Coptic Christians.

On Friday, nine people were killed when militants attacked a Coptic church and a nearby store.

Another high-profile rocket attack on December 19 claimed by IS damaged a helicopter at the Arish airport in northern Sinai during a visit by the defense and interior ministers.

On November 24, suspected IS militants killed some 300 worshipers at a mosque near Arish in the deadliest terror attack on civilians in Egyptian history.

Spree of executions

Separately on Tuesday, four Islamist militants were executed after being sentenced to death by a military court over a 2015 bombing north of Cairo that killed three military cadets.

The executions came just days after 15 militants were hanged having been convicted of attacking a  military checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula in 2013 that killed nine soldiers.

Rights groups have questioned the legal processes that led to hundreds of Islamists being sentenced to death, although not all have been executed and some have appealed the rulings and won retrials.

cw/tj (AP, dpa, Reuters)