Egypt raises security level around churches ahead of Christmas

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Cairo, Dec 17 (IANS) Egypt announced on Sunday security level around churches was being raised to the highest ahead of Christmas to prevent terror attacks.

Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffar instructed in a meeting with his security assistants to beef up security in the surroundings of churches and vital state facilities, Xinhua news agency reported quoting the state news agency MENA.

More security patrols will be deployed on the streets, Ghaffar added.

The measures were taken in the wake of the November 24 terror attack against a mosque in North Sinai that killed at least 310 Muslim worshippers and wounded over 120 others.

It is the deadliest terror attack and the first against a Muslim mosque in Egypt’s modern history.

Egypt has been fighting against a wave of terror activities that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group.

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Terror attacks in Egypt focused on targeting police and military men in North Sinai before spreading nationwide and targeting the Coptic Christian minority as well.

Terrorists attacked two Coptic churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandira in early April, killing a total of 47 people and wounding 106 others.

Most of the attacks were claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the terror group Islamic State.

–IANS

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