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Monday, October 21, 2013

Egypt: Coptic Church attacked in Giza

Police surrounded the church after attack, Giza
(Image: BBC)
Coptic Church of Saint Mary located in Giza’s Al-Warraq which is close to the Imbaba district was attacked on Sunday night by the unknown assailants opening fire on the wedding ceremony being held in the church. The church has hosted three wedding ceremonies at the moment of the attack, according to the priest.

Terrible attack happened in the night when the unknown men reportedly driving the motorbike opened fire from the automatic weapon on the crowd going out of the church. The men disappeared after the attack and his identity is still unknown.

According to some eyewitnesses the man has been shooting randomly at the crown nearly 15-20 times before he escaped the site.

The death toll rises to four persons according to the information of Egypt’s Ministry of Health on Monday. 56-year-old woman, mother of the groom, 45-year-old man and two girls, 8 and 12-year-old have been killed during the attack. At least 18 people got injured and are being held currently at the Cairo’s hospitals, some of the victims in difficult conditions.

Egypt’s Ministry of Interior and security forces have arrived to the site deploying the additional forces and blocking the area and the neighboring ways and roads in order to track the possible assailants. Police has started the investigations questioning the eyewitnesses and people survived the attack.

None of the groups claimed responsibility for the attack till now. The attack couldn’t be also connected to some disputes with some of the members of the Coptic families as several ceremonies have been held at the same time and all of them have been attacked.

Church in Al-Warraq, Giza
(Image: BBC)
Several political parties, forces and figures have already condemned the Sunday church attack denouncing it as a terrible terrorist act against Egyptian citizen.

Some of the political figures and groups accused Muslim Brotherhood supporters of the attack as the wave of terrorist activities started all over Egypt after 14 August dispersal of pro-Morsy sit-ins in Cairo and Giza where hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters have been killed and injured. The massive security crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood followed those events with many members of the Islamist group arrested and the group itself banned by the court decision.

Muslim Brotherhood though has also strongly condemned the Sunday attack stating the group is not responsible for this shooting. Several Salafi groups and parties such as Gamaa Al-Islamiya have also denounced the attack.

Many activists and political groups accused Egypt’s current government and Ministry of Interior claiming them to be responsible for the attack as the ministry and security apparatus appeared to be unable to secure and protect Egyptian citizens after the events followed the dispersal of pro-Morsy sit-ins.

Egypt’s Copts have also suffered numerous attacks since the middle of August with tens of churches, houses and businesses belonging to Copts burned and plundered.