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Egypt IS Leader Vows to Escalate Attacks on Christians

  • Associated Press

FILE - Soldiers guard a street near a church in downtown Cairo, Egypt, April 10, 2017, following Palm Sunday bombings in churches in Tanta and Alexandria that killed 45 Coptic Christians.

The leader of the Islamic State affiliate in Egypt has vowed to escalate attacks against Christians, urging Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and western embassies as they are targets of their group's militants.

"Targeting the churches is part of our war on infidels," the unidentified leader said in a lengthy interview published by the group's al-Nabaa newsletter on Thursday. He also called on Muslims who don't join jihadists to carry out lone wolf attacks across Egypt, and complained that a large number of Egyptians were antagonistic to his group's call and mission.

The group claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings that struck two of the country's Coptic Christian churches last month, killing more than 45 worshippers and prompting the president to declare a three-month state of emergency.

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