Egyptian flag
Egyptian flag iStock

Egypt's parliament on Tuesday approved an extension of a nationwide state of emergency until the end of September, Reuters reported.

The state of emergency was first declared by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in April following two deadly bombings on Coptic churches.

The state of emergency gives authorities greater powers to crack down on what is described as “enemies of the state”.

The extension by a further three months, ordered by Sisi, means the state of emergency will last at least until the end of September, said Ali Abdelaal, Speaker of the House of Representatives, according to Reuters.

"The reasons for which the state of emergency was declared are still in place and therefore it must be extended," Abdelaal told lawmakers.

Egypt has been targeted by numerous terrorist attacks in recent years, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013 when the military ousted then Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.

Most of the attacks in the region have been claimed by the Sinai Province, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, a police officer and two conscripts were killed by a roadside bomb in the Sinai.

10 other policemen were wounded by the explosion, security and medical sources told Reuters.

The blast hit an armored vehicle as it drove by in the south of Arish, capital of North Sinai province, killing a lieutenant colonel of the central security forces and two of his men, the sources said.

ISIS has also increasingly carried out attacks in the mainland against security forces and Coptic Christians, killing around 100 Copts since December.

In late February, ISIS issued a video message vowing to target Christians, particularly in Egypt, saying Christians were their “favorite prey”, while showing footage of the December 2016 church bombing.