(FILE PHOTO)Security personnels stand guard outside the Mar Girgis Church in Tanta, Egypt, on May 20, 2017. Memorial activities for the victims of Alexandria and Tanta churchblasts happened last month were held in some Egyptian cities on Saturday, 40 days after the terrorist attacks. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
CAIRO, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Egypt announced on Sunday to raise the security level to the highest around churches ahead of Christmas to prevent terror attacks.
Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffar instructed in a meeting with his security assistants to beef up security in the surroundings of churches and vital state facilities, the state news agency MENA reported.
More security patrols will be deployed to the streets, Ghaffar added.
The measures were taken in the wake of the Nov. 24 terror attack against a mosque in North Sinai that killed at least 310 Muslim worshippers and wounded over 120 others.
It is the deadliest terror attack and the first against a Muslim mosque in Egypt's modern history.
Egypt has been fighting against a wave of terror activities that killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers since the military toppled former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 in response to mass protests against his one-year rule and his currently blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood group.
Terror attacks in Egypt focused on targeting police and military men in North Sinai before spreading nationwide and targeting the Coptic Christian minority as well.
Terrorists attacked two Coptic churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandira in early April, killing a total of 47 people and wounding 106 others.
Most of the attacks were claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the terror group Islamic State.