Israel closes border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula after church attacks

Following this past weekend’s deadly church attacks in Egypt, Israel has closed its southern border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula citing fears of more terrorist attacks, says a report.

The border closure comes a day after the two church attacks in the northern Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria that killed at least 44 people and injured more than 100. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency after the church bombings.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) armed group claimed responsibility for Sunday’s church bombings in the Nile Delta cities of Alexandria and Tanta, in which at least 48 people were killed.

The Israeli government said its intelligence indicated “increased activity” by the Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula and a “desire to commit terrorist attacks against tourists in Sinai, including Israelis, in the immediate term.”

According to Washington Post, the Israeli authorities have also urged Israelis to leave the North African country.

But an Egyptian journalist and author of a book on the Islamist insurgency in Sinai, Mohannad Sabry, was cited saying that Egyptian military was capable of controlling the Sinai.

The attacks, carried out by suicide bombers and claimed by the Islamic State, came as worshipers gathered for Palm Sunday services.

– News24 and Al Jazeera

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