Thursday, January 7, 2010

Clashes in Naga Hamady after killing of Copts

Clashes have broken out on Thursday near the morgue of a hospital in Naga Hamadi in Upper-Egypt, one day after an attack on a Coptic church that killed six churchgoers and a security guard. At least 1000 family members and friends of the dead gathered around the morgue and clashed with police, shouting that the government should act against the perpetrators of the attack. After some time though , they accepted the dead bodies and took them to their funeral.
The killing took place Wednesday evening after the mass that initiated the Coptic Christmas that falls on January the 7th. People that were leaving the church were sprayed with bullets by three men who afterwards drove cars.The violence against the church came after numerous threats had been made and after 
earlier clashes, late in November, in the nearby town of Farshout.
The paper Masry al Youm wrote that they broke out in village Farhout near Naga Hamadi
...on the evening of 21 November, the area around the church, where most Christians in Farshout are based, was the scene of much violence as Muslim gangs started breaking into and looting shops and pharmacies owned by Christians, then torching them after taking what they wanted. They went from store to store with batons in hand and, according to some reports, fire arms, wreaking havoc.
The violence came after 21-year-old Girgis Barouny Girgis, a Copt, was charged with assaulting and raping a 12-year-old Muslim girl. Girgis, a resident of Kom el-Ahmar, is currently in police custody pending trial. The incident, however, has spurred continuous protests in addition to the violence – the worst of which happened in Farshout, the hometown of the girl which lies a few kilometers away from Kom el-Ahmar.
 Stories like this happen time and again in Upper-Egypt, which in many places has an important Coptic population and several churches and monasteries which are hundreds of years old. Unfortunately the goverment most of the time fails to act in time to suppress these sectarian outbursts. (Nag Hamady, in the governorate of Qena, lies about 60 km north of Luxor).

No comments: