World News

Egypt to extend state of emergency for three months: official gazette

A man carries breads on his head along a busy street near a banner for Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi from the campaign titled “Alashan Tabneeha” (So You Can Build It) after election results in Cairo, Egypt April 3, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is to extend its nationwide state of emergency for three months from April, the official gazette said early on Saturday.

Egypt first imposed the current state of emergency in April 2017 after two church bombings killed at least 45 people. It was extended in July and again in October then January.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree on Saturday to extend a curfew already in place in a new declaration.

The latest extension was to allow security forces to “take (measures) necessary to confront the dangers and funding of terrorism and safeguard security in all parts of the country,” the official gazette said.

Egypt faces an Islamic State insurgency in the remote North Sinai region that has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen in recent years and has expanded to include attacks on civilians.

Other Islamists operating in the western desert bordering Libya have also attacked security forces.

Egypt also extended a curfew on parts of North Sinai that included areas of the border town of Rafah near Gaza from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and around EL-Arish from to 5 a.m., the official gazette said.

(This version of the story has been refiled to add dropped date in the first paragraph)

Reporting by Mohamed El-Sherif; Editing by Sandra Maler