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Egypt's Brotherhood says 3 members injured in Warraq church attack

Muslim Brotherhood cites priest's statement to prove three members were injured during the church attack; denies allegations of links to the incident

Ahram Online , Friday 25 Oct 2013
People gather at the Virgin Church for the funeral of victims killed in an attack at a wedding on Sunday, the fifsth in Cairo October 21, (Photo: Reuters).
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Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood repeated their denial of any involvement in a recent church attack that left five dead, insisting the Archbishop of the church suggested that three Brotherhood members were injured in the incident.

The Brotherhood condemned the incident amid accusations by the Islamist group's opponents that it took part in its planning. Investigations are still underway; testimony from a police conscript for the prosecution said there had been no security forces deployed at the church since August.

"The Church's priest asserted that three of the injured were members of the Muslim Brotherhood," the group said in a statement, reiterating that the Brotherhood's doctrine is one of peace not violence.

The priest, Justus Kamel, made the statement while commenting on the incident on private-owned Egyptian satellite television channel Al-Hayat earlier this week, saying the Brotherhood members were at the wedding to "congratulate their Christian friends."

The Brotherhood statement however refrained from mentioning the names of the injured.

Gunmen on motorcycles attacked a wedding at the Virgin Mary Church of Warraq in Cairo's working class neighbourhood of Imbaba on Sunday, leaving five dead, among them two girls aged eight and twelve.

A Brotherhood-led alliance issued a statement following the attack condemning the police force's lax security and the crackdown launched on the group after Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the army in July amid mass protests against him.

The Brotherhood statement held the Interior Ministry responsible for "neglecting the security of Egyptian citizens, while busy stalking peaceful protesters."

In Friday's statement, the Brotherhood called the incident a "terrorist assault" and said it was surprised by media allegations that the group was connected to the incident.

Since Morsi's ouster and the deadly dispersal of two pro-Morsi sit-ins in August, a wave of anti-Coptic Christian attacks, mainly in Upper Egypt, have been carried out.

Some reports have blamed ultra-orthodox Salafists for many of these attacks, after they accused Christians of colluding to remove Morsi from power.

The Warraq incident led to the largest death toll in anti-Coptic attacks since Morsi's ouster.

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