Egyptian cabinet on Thursday decided to extend the state of emergency for another three months, as the country has been in high alert against looming threat of terrorist attacks.
On April 11, the parliament approved President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s decision for a three-month state of emergency, days after church bombings killed at least 44 people in the country.
Also on Thursday, the Egyptian interior ministry announced that its forces had killed seven terrorists connected to anti-Christian attacks.
Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar also ordered to put the national security forces on high alert ahead of post-Ramadan celebrations, vowing to foil any attempt to sabotage public safety.
Ghaffar ordered to increase security protection in vital facilities. Mobile and fixed security convoys will be deployed alongside bomb squads in public places such as parks and shopping malls.
Egypt has suffered from several major terror attacks in recent months, including the two bombing attacks against Coptic Christian churches in Tanta and Alexandria in April, and the ambush of a bus carrying Coptic Christians in south of Cairo in late May.
About four dozens of people were killed in the two bombings in April, and 26 others died in the May attack.
A local affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) group in North Sinai province has claimed responsibility for most attacks, vowing to continue its jihad against “infidels and apostates.”
In February 2015, the IS released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in neighboring turmoil-stricken Libya.
Egypt launched airstrikes against terrorist targets in Libya for retaliation.
While declaring the emergency state in April, President al-Sisi ordered the army to assist police forces in securing state institutions.
“This is only to protect our country and prevent any targeting of its capabilities,” he said.
According to Egypt’s constitution and the 1958 emergency decree, the state of emergency grants al-Sisi the authority to use State Security Emergency Courts for a duration of three months.
“Under the current emergency law, civilians can be transferred to State Security Emergency Courts without an appeal process for State Security Emergency Court verdicts, thereby combating terrorists and bringing perpetrators to justice,” said Tariq Fahmy, professor of political science at Cairo University.
The emergency law also grants rights to monitor and intercept all forms of communication and correspondence, a curfew and the closure of commercial establishments, as well as designated evacuation spaces.
In addition, the state of emergency can specify opening and closing hours of public shops or shut them down completely.
Authorities can also withdraw and confiscate weapon permits, ammunition, flammable material and fireworks. Enditem