Egypt: Coptic Priest Killed; Activists Blame Muslim Brotherhood for Sectarianism


Date:  2013-07-06

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

EGYPT (ANS) -- A Coptic priest was shot dead Saturday on al-Sentral Street in the North Sinai neighborhood of al-Masaeed.

According to a story by Al-Masry Al-Youm for the Egypt Independent and Reuters, gunmen shot dead a Coptic Christian priest in Egypt's lawless region. It's the third recorded instance of sectarian violence against Christians since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.

The shooting in the coastal city of Arish was one of several attacks believed to be by Islamist insurgents that included firing at four military checkpoints in the region, the Egypt Independent reported sources said.

The Egypt Independent reported a security source said Saturday that gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead the priest, Mena Aboud Sharoben, 39, who lived in Arish.

The source said the motivations behind the murder were not known.

The Egypt Independent said the Maspero Youth Union meanwhile denounced what it identified as Muslim Brotherhood attacks on churches, claiming sectarian attacks are aimed at hurting the revolution and undermining people's demands for freedom.

"The president's supporters attacked (the) churches in Luxor , Qena, Minya, Towa, Sharm el-Sheikh and Marsa Matrouh," the Egypt Independent reported the statement said.

It continued, "We say to them, tear down all the churches, it is not going to stop us from building Egypt ... We will use the stones of our churches to build our homeland."

The Egypt Independent said Reuters reported the attack comes one day after unidentified gunmen launched simultaneous attacks with heavy weapons on security checkpoints in North Sinai, killing five police officers and a soldier.

The Egypt Independent said Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood has fiercely criticized Coptic Pope Tawadros II, the spiritual leader of Egypt's eight million Christians.

The criticism is for giving his blessing to the removal of the president and attending the announcement by armed forces commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi suspending the constitution.

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