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Egyptians Celebrate Eid al-Fitr amid Security Alerts | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Egyptians celebrate and try to catch balloons released after Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at a public park, outside El-Seddik Mosque in Cairo, Egypt June 25, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Cairo – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi performed Eid al-Fitr prayers on Sunday in Mohamed Korayem Mosque in the Naval Headquarters in Ras el-Tin, Alexandria.

Hundreds of worshipers joined Sisi in the prayers, which were led by Egypt’s Mufti Dr. Shawki Allam.

Allam, who delivered the Eid sermon, explained the blessings of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and wished the nation progress and prosperity.

High-raking officials who accompanied Sisi included former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Ali Abdel Aal, Gen. Sedki Sobhi, Minister of Defense and Commander of the Armed Forces, as well as other officials.

Meanwhile, security forces have thwarted several attacks by terrorist groups, which were seeking to harm the country’s security during the Eid holidays.

A terrorist cell captured by the interior ministry on Saturday confessed to have been planning to attack churches during Eid al-Fitr.

The cell members revealed a plan of a suicide bomber, who wanted to enter a church and detonate himself to cause a high number of casualties, while another bomber would wait outside the church and blows himself up when people and medics come to the rescue.

The terrorists, who were questioned by the interior ministry, said they wanted to spoil the joy of Eid and stir the Copts against the Egyptian government.

Security sources noted that members of the terrorist cell had previously participated in the wave of violence recently witnessed in the country.

Security forces imposed tightened security measures and increased patrols ahead of Eid al-Fitr.

A state of emergency has been declared last April, following two separate attacks on churches during Palm Sunday prayers, which killed more than 40 people and injured over 100 others.