A Coptic church in Egypt [Illustrative].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said a three-month state of emergency would be imposed after two deadly bombings hit Coptic churches on Sunday, killing at least 44 people.
"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.
The Islamic State terror organization said it was responsible for the two Coptic church bombings on Palm Sunday, the group's news agency Amaq said.
"A group that belongs to Islamic State carried out the two attacks on the churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria," Amaq said.
At least 44 people were killed and more than 100 injured in bomb attacks on two Coptic churches on Palm Sunday, in the latest assault on a religious minority increasingly targeted by Islamist militants.
Footage of explosion at church in Alexandria , Egypt on April 9, 2017 (REUTERS)
The attack comes a week before Coptic Easter and in the same month that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt.
The first bombing, in Tanta, a Nile Delta city less than 100 kilometers outside Cairo, killed at least 25 and injured at least 78, Egypt's Ministry of Health said.
The second, carried out just a few hours later by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, hit the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 11, including three police officers, and injuring 35, the ministry added.