Churches in southern Egypt will not celebrate Easter

Churches in southern Egypt will not celebrate Easter

Seventeen people including at least four police officers were killed in that attack, which the interior ministry said was caused by a suicide bomber who blew himself up when prevented from entering the church.

Egypt's president has picked three former leaders at state news organizations during the era of deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak to lead new media watchdog agencies, part of measures to tighten his control over the country following a pair of horrific Islamic State church bombings last weekend.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi also declared a three-month-long state of emergency in the nation on the same day, which would allow the government to monitor communication, restrict movement or gatherings, and deploy officials for enforcement, among other actions.

ISIS claimed that the attacks were carried out by two of its members wearing suicide vests and even issued a warning of more attacks to come. Pope Francis is also due to visit Egypt later this month. In December, a massive church bombing killed 30 people in Cairo, and a series of killings in the Sinai have caused hundreds to flee to safer areas.

Egyptians wheel away a body near a church in Alexandria after a bomb blast struck worshippers gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday on April 9, 2017.

"We're living in different times", Adams said.

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Egypt has been fighting a violence wave that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military removed former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and blacklisted his Muslim Brotherhood group as "a terrorist organization".

The attacks challenge Egypt on multiple fronts.

About 250 Christians took refuge in the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya after IS released a video calling for attacks against the minority.

Meanwhile Coptic Catholic Bishop Kyrillos William of Assiut, Upper Egypt, has called for increased security for Christians in the country, saying that until now "our sense of security was not very strong", in an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need on 10 April. Given the backdrop, Sisi's recent visit to the United States, where he was pictured with President Trump, may have only sealed the Copts' fate.

Women wailed as caskets marked with the word "martyr" were brought into the Mar Amina church in the coastal city of Alexandria on Monday, the footage broadcast on several Egyptian channels.