Egypt mob stab Christian man to death following dispute

Egypt mob stab Christian man to death following dispute

2 min read
18 July, 2016
A mob in southern Egypt stabbed a Coptic Christian man to death following a dispute, stoking anger among Christians amid a spike in assaults on their community.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at a local church for prayers for the dead [Facebook]
A mob in southern Egypt has stabbed a Coptic Christian man to death following a dispute, stoking anger among Christians amid a spike in assaults on their community.

The Coptic Orthodox Church said in a statement on Sunday that the mob attacked the families of two priests with knives and batons in the village of Tahna al-Gabal in Minya province.

Fam Khalaf, 27, was killed and three other were injured, including the father of a priest and a woman, the statement read.

Police said they have arrested four people in connection to the incident.

Local media reported on Monday that hundreds of mourners gathered at a local church for prayers for the dead, before breaking into protests chanting "with blood and soul, we redeem the cross" as they marched to the graveyard.

Bishop Macarious of the southern Minya governorate told the mourners: "The right of the martyr will not be forgotten, his blood will not come to nothing."

Egypt's top Islamic institution, al-Azhar, has called for calm and urged villagers to resort to the law to resolve the conflict.

     
      Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's population [Getty]

Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's mostly Muslim population. Sectarian violence occasionally erupts, mainly in rural communities in the south. Islamic extremists have also targeted Christians.

On Saturday, a group of Muslims attacked and torched houses of Christians in the village of Abu-Yacoub, also in Minya, following a rumour that a Christian intended to turn a kindergarten into a church.

Security forces arrested at least 14 people for the attack.

Last week, in another Minya village, Kom al-Lufi, a group of hard-liners attacked and torched houses belonging to Christians after a similar rumour.

In May, a mob stripped an elderly Christian woman of her clothes and paraded her on the streets of another Minya village, following a rumour that her son had an affair with a Muslim woman.

The incident sparked public uproar and prompted Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to publicly vow to bring the attackers to justice.