Security forces deploy during Palm Sunday celebrations

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Sun, 01 Apr 2018 - 12:04 GMT

Mar Girgis church after the explosion that targeted it during Palm Sunday services on April 2017 - Egypt today /Mohamed El Hosary

Mar Girgis church after the explosion that targeted it during Palm Sunday services on April 2017 - Egypt today /Mohamed El Hosary

CAIRO – 1 April 2018: Intensive security forces were deployed early Sunday around the entries and exits of churches celebrating Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is called as such, as it is symbolized by the palm frond, which commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Security forces had already imposed barriers in areas surrounding churches, preventing cars from parking, and they fit the entries with metal detectors and gates. Security forces also intensified security check points, stationing vehicles at vital points with officers and security members who are able to deal with any security situation.

Security measures have been specifically intensified around Mar Girgis Church in Tanta, and Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria.

In April 2017, at least 43 people died and over 110 were injured in two blasts.
The first blast hit Mar Girgis Church in Tanta, leaving 30 worshipers dead and 71 injured.

Four hours later, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of Saint Mark's Coptic
Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria. The attack resulted in 13 fatalities and 40 injuries.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the suicide bomber was wearing an explosive belt and had intended to break into the church. While being apprehended, the terrorist detonated the bomb at the entrance, killing four security service members and a number of civilians at the gate.

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