Source: Associated Press
By HEBA AFIFY
CAIRO (AP) — Outside of Cairo’s St. Mark’s Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope, a dozen high-ranking police officers are stationed on all entrances, searching cars and scanning the area, as security measures are visibly beefed up outside churches before Easter prayers on Sunday.
The usually festive occasion is tainted with fearful apprehension after twin bombings in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria killed 45 people this week at churches on Palm Sunday, which marks the start of the Coptic Christian Holy Week.
The increased security measures on display outside churches across the country are meant to restore a sense of security for Egypt’s Copts amid a war on the embattled minority declared by the Islamist State group, which claimed Sunday’s bombings. However, the enhanced security can do little against the effect of repeated attacks on Coptic churches in recent years.