Security sources have said that the Interior Ministry put in place tightened security measures, including plainclothes police officers, for churches to protect midnight mass attendees from possible attacks.
The recent bombing of a Coptic church in the Libyan city of Misrata led to increased security fears, the sources added.
Speaking on condition of anonymity to the London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, the sources said that security checkpoints were placed at churc entrances to secure the worshipers ahead of and after the New Year Eve’s mass. Vacations for policemen were also canceled until 7 January.
Security measures were also taken at Tahrir Square and the downtown area, and traffic police have been increased to prevent jams.
Other security measures include continuous checks on troops stationed in streets, which has been overseen by Major General Ahmed Gamal Eddin, according to the sources.
Meanwhile, the Coptic Orthodox Church denied that it had planned on canceling celebrations due to the Misrata bombing, adding that preparations were taken inside the Abbasseya Cathedral ahead of the mass.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm