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Muslims Attack Christians in Egypt, 12 Killed, 232 Injured
(AINA) -- Christians Copts in the area of Embaba were attacked Saturday evening by Muslim Salafis. The attacks lasted for 14 hours. The Muslims fired guns and rifles and hurled Molotov cocktails at Coptic churches, houses and businesses. 12 Copts were killed and 232 injured.
The church of Saint Mina was the first to be attacked. According to its pastor Fr. Abanoub the attack started at 5.30 PM on Saturday May 7, when church parishioners noticed a large number of Salafis, estimated at 3000 men, congregating near the church. Anticipating trouble, the army was called. The Salafis went to the church and asked to search it because they believed a Christian girl named called Abir, who had converted to Islam, married a Salafi and wanted to revert back to Christianity, was hiding inside the church. The Muslims circulated a rumor that the husband of Abir received a call from her asking him to save her as she was being "tortured" inside the church.
The governor of Giza said that there are no girls hiding in St. Mina Church. He falsely claimed that things were under control and a "reconciliation" meeting will be arranged for tomorrow. The army later cordoned off the entire district of Embaba.
Father Yohanna Mansour from Giza Bishopric confirmed that no one knows this alleged girl called Abir. He said the congregation was meeting at church and the Salafis wanted to break into the church and force a search to look for this alleged convert, he said in an interview with the Egyptian State TV. "Muslims always come invited to church, but this would have set a precedent that Muslims would use to search our churches." He refused the "reconciliation" meeting and insisted on the application of the law.
According to Fr. Abanoub the Salafis started shooting at 5:30 but the army arrived at 10 PM. "I called everyone, but no one bothered to come." He said six policemen came and left when they saw the shooting. There were also snipers shooting the parishioners from rooftops. "I mourn all those young people who died. We now must ask for international protection."
The second church attacked by Salafis was St. Mary and St Abanob, also in Embaba. Muslims prevented the fire brigade from reaching it. Copts were also shot. This video shows the wounded brought inside the church.
The third church attacked was St. Mary Church in Wehda Street in Embaba, the ground floor of which was completely torched (video).