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Egypt Christian murdered in slasher attack 'for selling alcohol' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Egypt Christian murdered in slasher attack 'for selling alcohol'

Video footage shows a bearded man stabbing the unaware victim's throat [Tahrir News]

Date of publication: 5 January, 2017

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An Egyptian Christian liquor shop owner has been murdered by a likely Islamist motivated by "sectarianism" in the coastal city of Alexandria.

An Egyptian Christian liquor shop owner has been murdered by a likely Islamist motivated by "sectarianism" in the coastal city of Alexandria.

Youssef Lamei was slashed in the neck as he sat outside his store on Monday, just weeks after a suicide bomber targeted a church mass in Cairo.

Lamei's son Tony said his 61-year-old father was sitting outside his liquor shop in downtown Alexandria, smoking shisha when he was suddenly attacked from behind.

"When he grabbed my father's head, I thought he was joking around, but my father tried to get away then he fell to the ground," Tony said.

"The killer had slit his throat twice in a professional fashion."

Video footage from a surveillance camera shows a bearded man, dressed in a brown jacket, stabbing the unaware victim's throat.

Police on Wednesday said a suspect for the incident has been arrested, and added that "sectarian motives were likely behind the crime and that he was being interrogated to determine his affiliations".

     
      Lamei (R) ran his shop for 40 years [Facebook]

Local media aired mobile phone footage of the suspect being arrested in the street, a day after the murder.

Unlike many Arab countries, there are no prohibitions against alcohol in Egypt. Large liquor store chains and small family businesses sell beer, wine and spirits to Muslim and Christian customers in large cities.

The senseless murder comes amid a rise in deadly violence against Egypt's Coptic community, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 90-million population.

Last month, a suicide bombing in a Cairo church killed 26 people, mostly women and children, during Sunday mass.

The Islamic State group [IS] claimed responsibility for the attack and vowed "to continue war against infidels".

The blast was the worst attack on Christians in Egypt since a 2011 suicide bombing killed more than 20 worshippers outside a church in Alexandria.

Islamists have accused Christians of supporting the 2013 military coup against the Muslim Brotherhood led by army general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

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