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  1. ITV Report

Egyptian churches cancel Easter celebrations after IS bombings

St. George's Church after a deadly suicide bombing, in the Nile Delta town of Tanta Credit: AP

Egyptian churches in the city of Minya have cancelled Easter celebrations in mourning for 45 Coptic Christians killed after two bombings in churches during Palm Sunday ceremonies.

The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese said celebrations will be limited to prayers "without any festive manifestations".

Minya province has the largest Coptic Christian population in the Middle Eastern country.

Sunday's bombings, claimed by the so-called Islamic State, were the latest in a series of escalations by the group, which recently pledged to step up its attacks against the Egyptian Christian minority.

Damage at the St. Mark Cathedral in central Cairo after the bombing in December. Credit: AP

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has declared a three-month state of emergency in the country following the attacks.

Following the attacks, Mr el-Sissi ordered the formation of the Supreme Council to Combat Terrorism and Fanaticism.

IS also claimed responsibility for the December bombing of a church next to Saint Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, which killed 30 people and injured dozens more.