Egypt beefs up security around churches ahead of Coptic Christmas

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Egyptian security forces reinforced their presence around churches in the capital and surrounding cities, in preparation of the Coptic Christmas celebrations scheduled to take place on Sunday eve.

The security reinforcement comes as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated the largest cathedral in the Middle East in the new administrative capital, where the Christmas mass will be held later on Sunday.

The reinforcements come in the heels of the recent death of an Egyptian officer, who passed while attempting to defuse a bomb near a church in the city of Nasr on Saturday. Two other policemen were injured.

In late December, Sisi ordered the creation of a committee to tackle “sectarian incidents,” through “developing a general strategy to prevent and confront sectarian incidents.”

The new committee is currently being headed by Sisi’s security and counterterrorism advisor, and previous interior minister, Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, while also including representatives from security and intelligence agencies.

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