Egypt declares state of emergency after church bombings
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi says a three-month state of emergency will be imposed after two bomb blasts killed dozens of worshippers in Coptic Christian churches. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) armed group claimed responsibility for Sunday's suicide bombings in the Nile Delta cities of Alexandria and Tanta, in which more than 40 people were killed. “A series of steps will be taken, most importantly, the announcement of a state of emergency for three months after legal and constitution steps are taken,” Sisi said in a speech aired on state television. Sisi, who in 2013 led the overthrow of democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, announced the measure after a national defence council meeting. Under Egypt’s constitution, the state of emergency must be presented to the House of Representatives for approval within a seven-day period. The emergency law expands police powers of arrest, surveillance and seizures and can limit freedom of movement. Egypt declared a state of emergency in the months that followed the military ouster of Morsi. Part of North Sinai, where ISIL’s Egyptian affiliate is based, is still under a state of emergency. Earlier on Sunday, a statement by the presidential office said that Sisi had ordered troops be deployed across the country to help secure “vital facilities”.