Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, declared a three-month state of emergency on Sunday after attacks on two Coptic Christian churches that killed dozens. ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks, which came as worshippers crowded churches for Palm Sunday. In his address to the public, the Associated Press reported Sisi accused unnamed countries of aiding terrorism to destabilize Egypt, and vowed to fight them. The state of emergency must first be passed by a majority in parliament. By Sunday evening local time, the death toll for both blasts stood at 40, with dozens more injured.
—Stockholm police say the Uzbek man accused of ramming a stolen beer truck into a crowd and killing four people was facing deportation.
—The U.S. deployed warships toward North Korea as a show of force.
—Two bombing attacks in Egypt targeted Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday and have killed at least 35 people.
—We’re tracking the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4).
Egypt's President Declares a State of Emergency After Bombing Attacks
U.S. Sends Warships Toward Korean Peninsula
A U.S. Navy strike group of warships is moving toward the Pacific Ocean and nearer to North Korea as a show of force. The warships are led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier. The ships left Singapore Saturday and were headed toward Australia when they received the new orders, and now are expected to pause in the Korean Peninsula, Reuters reported. In the coming week, North Korea plans to hold a large military parade to celebrate the 105th birthday of founding President Kim Il Sung. The country’s current leader, Kim Jong Un, has said the military is in the final stage of testing for its intercontinental ballistic missile program. The country has recently increased these tests, and there is fear Pyongyang will develop missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. During the upcoming celebration, North Korea is expected to make some type of launch. Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump met with the president of China, and Trump reportedly pushed for stronger posture toward North Korea. But even if China doesn’t help, Trump has said he would be willing to act alone.
Swedish Police Say the Truck Attack Suspect Faced Deportation
Swedish police said the man who stole a beer truck Friday and crashed it into a crowd of people in Stockholm’s busy shopping area had sought asylum, failed, and was facing deportation. Investigators say the 39-year-old from Uzbekistan, whose name has not been released, applied for a residence permit in 2014 and was denied. He later applied for asylum, and last June he received a rejection notice and was told to leave the country in four weeks. He disappeared, and only resurfaced last Friday, when authorities say he stole a beer truck, then rammed it into a crowded street in the capital, smashing into the front of a department store. Four people died in the attack, which Prime Minister Stefan Lofven called “an act of terrorism.” Police have arrested five people in connection with the attack, and at least one is being investigated on a terrorism-related charge, suggesting there could have been a wider plan. The four victims were identified as two Swedes, one Belgian, and one British national. One of the Swedish victims was an 11-year-old girl on her way home from school.
Two Explosions in Egypt Target Coptic Christians on Palm Sunday
Two bombs targeting Coptic Christian churches in Egypt killed at least 35 people as worshippers gathered for Palm Sunday. In the northern city of Tanta, a bomb planted under the seat at the church killed 25 people and wounded 60 others. In Alexandria, at least 11 people died and 35 were injured near St. Mark’s Coptic church when a suicide bomber rushed the entrance. Police stopped the attacker, but not before the bomb exploded near the gate of the church. The head of the Coptic church, Pope Tawadros II, was inside the church, but he was unharmed. The explosions were timed for ultimate impact, because Palm Sunday, which marks the start of Easter, is one of Christianity’s holiest days. ISIS has claimed responsibility for both attacks