On Sunday, ISIS attacked two Coptic churches in Egypt, killing at least 45 and wounding roughly 125, according to CNN. St. George's Church in Tanta, where an explosive was placed under a seat, was the scene of the first attack. A suicide bomber later approached St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria. Police stopped him before he could go in the church, but the explosive he was wearing detonated right outside.
The attacks happened on Palm Sunday, which symbolizes the start of Holy Week for the Christian church. These attacks were blatantly targeted toward the already persecuted Christian minority in Egypt. According to BBC, the Copts are one of the oldest Christian communities in Egypt, as well as the largest in the Middle East, and with the recent rise in jihadism, many believers have felt weak and susceptible to hate crimes, which make this incident even more harrowing.
Following the attacks, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi issued a state of emergency for three months and ordered military deployment to help officials determine imminent threats and narrow down suspects, according to BBC.
His statement read, "The state of emergency allows both the armed forces and the police to execute those procedures necessary to combat the threats of terrorism and its financing, maintain security around the country and protect public and private property, as well as preserving the lives of citizens.”
In order for the three-month state of emergency to go into effect, Parliament must approve. They will vote on Tuesday.