Suspected Daesh militants were killed in a shootout a day after at least 44 people died in two attacks on churches on Palm Sunday.

Egyptian officials say militants were planning further attacks against Coptic Christians.
Egyptian officials say militants were planning further attacks against Coptic Christians.

Egypt security forces have killed seven suspected Daesh sympathisers thought to be planning attacks against Coptic Christians, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

The incident in the southern city of Assiut, which has a significant Christian population, occurred a day after Egypt's cabinet approved a three-month state of emergency in the wake of Daesh attacks on two Christian Coptic churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday, which killed at least 44 people.

The attacks were claimed by Daesh, and the group has threatened more attacks against Egypt's Christian minority.

The group was hiding in the southern province "to prepare explosive devices in preparation for carrying out a series of terrorist attacks," the ministry said.

They were killed after a shootout with the police, who found rifles, ammunition, and Daesh publications in the hideout.

Monday's statement said security officials were able to identify three of those killed, who were born in Egypt and thought to be planning attacks targeting Christians in Assiut and the neighbouring province of Sohag.

The group was also planning attacks against police and courts, the ministry said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies