Egypt's Christians bury victims of bombings as Israel closes border at Sinai

WikimediaSt. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria Egypt

As the Christian minority worshippers were marking the Palm Sunday in the Muslim-majority state earlier during the day, a blast and a suicide bombing at two churches in Gharbiya and Alexandria province northern Egypt killed at least 44 and wounded over 120.

A rocket was sacked on Monday from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula into southern Israel, according to the Israeli military.

The Israeli government statement says that intelligence information shows "increased activity by Islamic State militants" in Sinai.

The statement said that due to "the increased severity and immediacy of the threat", Yisrael Katz, who doubles as Israel's Transportation and Intelligence minister, made a decision to close the Taba border crossing for Israelis to enter Egypt until the end of the Passover holiday next week.

On the eve of the Passover, the Israeli government sent condolences to Egypt and called on Israelis visiting the Egyptian Sinai Desert to return home immediately on Monday.

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"It has been decided not to allow exiting of Israeli citizens from Taba to Sinai, effective immediately", the statement added. Israel's counter-terrorism bureau issued a warning to travelers heading to Sinai last month.

Joined the global condemnation of the church bombings in Egypt, US President Donald Trump said he is "so sad to hear of the terrorist attack" against the US ally. Officials said that Israelis who were already in Egypt would be allowed to return through the border crossing.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews take part in the "Mayim Shelanu" ceremony to collect water from a natural spring, which be used to make matza, the traditional unleavened bread, near Jerusalem April 9, 2017.

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. Monday's travel warning was unusual in its urgency and it is rare for the Taba crossing to be shut down.

Israel on Monday sealed its border crossing into Egypt's Sinai Peninsula following security assessments indicating an immediate threat to tourists posed by jihadists in the region.

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