Egypt extended on Saturday a nationwide state of emergency for three months for the fourth time since it was imposed in April last year following two church bombings on Palm Sunday which resulted in killing at least 45 people and more than 100 injuries.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a presidential decree to extend the state of emergency, which was previously extended three times, first in July, then in October and January. The new three-month state of emergency takes effect on 14 April, according to the official gazette.
“The Egyptian Armed Forces and security forces are to take necessary (measures) to confront the dangers and funding of terrorism, maintain security across the country, and protect private and public installations and citizens’ lives,” the decree read.
The gazette further said that Egypt extended a curfew in parts of North Sinai, including in areas of Rafah near the Gaza Strip from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am, and around Al-Arish from 1:00 am to 5:00 am.
Egypt has been rocked by several attacks by extremists since 2013, targeting hundreds of security officers, Christians, and even Sufi Muslims, mostly carried by an Islamic State group (IS) branch in North Sinai.
The Egyptian military launched in February an offensive, dubbed Sinai 2018, to confront armed militants in central and North Sinai, as well as in other areas, such as the Nile Delta and the Western Desert.