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Coptic protestors clash with security forces following Qena shooting - Daily News Egypt

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Coptic protestors clash with security forces following Qena shooting

CAIRO: Security forces clashed with over 2,000 Egyptian Copts Thursday enraged by the murder of six Copts in a drive-by shooting Wednesday night in Nagaa Hammadi, a city in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena. Copts gathered in front of the hospital where the victims were taken as security forces cordoned off the area, under …


CAIRO: Security forces clashed with over 2,000 Egyptian Copts Thursday enraged by the murder of six Copts in a drive-by shooting Wednesday night in Nagaa Hammadi, a city in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena.

Copts gathered in front of the hospital where the victims were taken as security forces cordoned off the area, under heavy police presence. Security also imposed a curfew and cordoned off areas with a large Coptic population.

A shooting spree on Coptic Christmas Eve killed six Copts and one Muslim security guard, and left 10 critically injured in front of a church where worshippers were attending Christmas mass.

Security sources told Daily News Egypt that the perpetrators were driving a privately owned car and used machine guns to shoot at Copts as they left the church towards midnight.

Coptic rights activist Hala Al-Masry told Daily News Egypt that the victims were between 17 and 29 year old: Paula Atef Yassa, Abanoub Kamal Nashed, Ayman Zakaria, Beshoi Farid Labib, and Rafik Refaat Al-Balegh.

Al-Masry added that the perpetrators’ car was a Fiat and had no license plates.

Thousands of Copts gathered in Nagaa Hammadi to bury the victims on Thursday.

While the police did not officially state the motives behind the shooting, security sources attribute it to the events in Farshout last November when a Christian allegedly raped a 12-year-old Muslim girl, triggering a retaliatory burning and looting of Christian homes and Christian-owned shops by Muslim villagers.

“Investigations are still underway, however we suspect that some of the rape victim’s relatives in Farshout committed this act in retaliation, the sources told Daily News Egypt.

“Worshippers were shot at after they left the church . It may be the aftermath of the Farshout incident, but we cannot be sure at this time, Bishop Kirollos of the Nagaa Hammadi district, told Daily News Egypt.

Kirollos also told AFP that some of his parishioners had been receiving for the past week hate calls on their cell phones and threats alleging that Muslims will avenge the rape of the girl during the Christmas celebrations.

The Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization (EUHRO) condemned the events, accusing security forces of not protecting Copts and churches in Egypt.

In a statement issued Thursday, the organization announced that it cancelled Christmas celebrations because it is in mourning. EUHRO also said it will follow the aftermath closely.

“We will hold a press conference on Sunday titled ‘The Day of Anger,’ to announce our stance on the matter and discuss the developments, Naguib Gobrael, EUHRO head, told Daily News Egypt.

“We will submit a memo to President Hosni Mubarak, asking him to personally intervene to protect Egypt’s Coptic population and dismiss the security forces who failed to do so, he added. -Additional reporting by AFP.

Topics: Aboul Fotouh

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https://dailyfeed.dailynewsegypt.com/2010/01/07/coptic-protestors-clash-with-security-forces-following-qena-shooting/
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