Egypt extends 'emergency' declaration
CAIRO — Egypt's interim president on Thursday extended a nationwide state of emergency for two more months, citing continued security concerns, as a senior Egyptian official warned of more terrorist attacks resulting from a failed assassination attempt against the interior minister and suicide bombings in the Sinai Peninsula.
The nearly month-old state of emergency, which is due to expire within days, preserves greater powers for security forces amid a crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy and increasing violence by Islamic militants. It was declared in mid-August when authorities cleared two protest camps held by Morsy supporters, unleashing violence that claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 in subsequent days.
Ever since, a nighttime curfew has been in effect in much of the country. The interim government will decide separately on whether to continue the curfew. Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi has said the curfew, now lasting for seven hours most nights, would likely be eased.
The government announced new measures aimed at easing an economic crunch, in a sign it aims to show that it is tackling the nation's problems even amid the exceptional security conditions.
The measures included relief for low-income families from school expenditures and reduction in public transportation costs.