Trump speaks with Egyptian president on church bombings

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The attacks left at least 43 dead and dozens more injured, amid grim scenes of hollowed-out churches, with body parts and blood scattered among the debris.

Also regarding the media, Al-Sisi said that there should be new regulations enforced by the upcoming National Council he formed to combat terrorism, among urgent measures he undertook with members of the National Defence Council, along with a state of emergency.

A state of emergency already in place in the Sinai Peninsula has failed to halt near daily attacks against police and security forces by the Islamic State group in the volatile area. In these attacks, like the previous ones, security experts argued that securing churches by the police is usually done from outside the churches and that church affiliated security personnel are in charge of searching people, in order to avoid any sensitive reactions.

"At the highest level, a lot of attention and care is given to this issue".

Palm Sunday is among the holiest days on the Christian calendar, marking the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and churches traditionally draw big crowds.

"Reports [of attacks] are not taken seriously or investigated robustly".

"It is joyful and sorrowful at the same time" because the Mass celebrates the Lord's entrance into Jerusalem as the people and disciples acclaim him as king, and yet, the Gospel gives the account of his passion and death on the cross. "That nearly reinforces a sense of impunity".

The emergency law expands police powers of arrest, surveillance and seizures and can limit freedom of movement.

"What have you done for social, economic, health, political and human justice?" "If this law is meant to harass us or frighten us - we are not afraid". Gen. Tarek Hassouna replacing him, state-run newspaper al-Ahram reported. "Ordinary peaceful citizens won't feel any difference unless a state of curfew is declared, which is a decision more easily taken under a state of emergency", he added. Although Copts have lived alongside Egypt's Muslim majority for centuries, in recent years Christian churches have repeatedly been targeted by sectarian violence.

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The pope's visit was "very significant" for both Catholic and Orthodox communities, said Angaelos. The war in Syria and the turmoil in the Middle East have had its spill-over effect on Egypt.

The bishop has claimed that lists of churches and individuals have been released as "desirable targets" by terrorist groups.

Mr el-Sissi, the army chief-turned-president, also dispatched elite troops across the country to protect key installations and accused unidentified countries of fuelling instability, saying that "Egyptians have foiled plots and efforts by countries and fascist, terrorist organisations that tried to control Egypt".

Egyptians of different faiths rallied together on Sunday in defiance of ISIS, after the group claimed responsibility for two Coptic Christian church bombings hundreds of miles apart.

Attacks in the Sinai, including the murder of a Copt in the city of El Arish whose house was also torched, prompted some Coptic families to flee.

In his Lenten message before embarking on a week-long state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar during the Holy week, President Duterte encouraged everyone to always choose to embody compassion as Christ has personified despite differences.

Security is expected to be tight for the pope's visit, which includes a speech to an worldwide peace conference and a celebration of Mass with the small Catholic community in Cairo.

"As the Islamic State is squeezed in Iraq and Syria it often conducts spectacular attacks elsewhere in an attempt to regain the narrative, boost morale and win recruits", he told Agence France-Presse.

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