Egyptian churches, in the southern city of Minya, say they will not hold Easter celebrations on Saturday, in mourning for 45 Coptic Christians killed in twin bombings of churches in two cities during Palm Sunday ceremonies.

The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese said on Tuesday that celebrations would only be limited to the liturgical prayers “without any festive manifestations”.

Minya province has the highest Coptic Christian population in the country.

Sunday’s bombings, claimed by the Islamic State group, are the latest escalation by the extremist group – which recently vowed to step up its attacks against Egypt’s embattled Christian minority.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi declared a three-month state of emergency following the attacks.