Egypt to Declare State of Emergency After ISIS Bombings of Churches

President Sissi says the 3-months state of emergency will be declared 'after legal and constitutional steps are taken'

The aftermath of an explosion that took place at a Coptic church on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt, April 9, 2017.
The aftermath of an explosion that took place at a Coptic church on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt, April 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi said a three-month state of emergency would be imposed after ISIS claimed responsibility for two deadly bombings that hit Coptic churches on Sunday, killing dozens.

"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," Sissi said in a speech aired on state television. 

In an earlier statement, the president said he'd ordered soldiers to be deployed to various sites and institutions across the country to boost security.

"The attack ... will only harden the determination (of the Egyptian people) to move forward on their trajectory to realize security, stability and comprehensive development," Sissi said.

ISIS threatened further attacks against Egypt's Christians, saying in an online statement carried by a news site affiliated with the group, "Let the crusaders and apostates know that they will pay a huge bill with their son's blood."

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted after the bombings: "So sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. U.S. strongly condemns. I have great confidence that President Al Sisi will handle situation properly."

The attacks in Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta were the latest in a series of assaults on Egypt's Christian minority, which makes up around 10 percent of the population of 92 million and has been repeatedly targeted by Islamic extremists.