Sectarian violence kills 1, wounds 3 in Egypt's Minya: Coptic bishop

Ahram Online , Monday 18 Jul 2016

A Coptic Orthodox cleric in Egypt's Minya governorate has said a sectarian attack in a village there on Sunday killed one person and wounded three others.

Bishop Makarious of Minya said in a brief statement Sunday that the families of two priests in the Tahna El-Jabal village were attacked by assailants wielding knives and batons, killing a 27-year-old man and injuring three others, including a woman.

The cleric did not elaborate on the reasons behind the violence, but local media reports suggest the fighting resulted from an argument between Muslim and Christian children over priority to pass through the street.

Emad Nabil, a local lawyer, was quoted in a Christian forum as saying that police had arrested four suspects in relation to the attack.

Al-Azhar, the country's top Sunni Muslim authority, called on both sides to resort to law and not to provide the opportunity for "malicious" attempts "to sow discord and ignite sectarian strife."

The prestigious Muslim body said a delegation from the Family House, a group of Muslim and Christian leaders that promotes peaceful coexistence, was sent to the village to help settle the matter.

Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 90 million, have long complained of discrimination and sectarian attacks in the predominantly Sunni Muslim country.

In May, Muslim villagers set ablaze seven Christian homes and assaulted a Christian man's elderly mother, parading her naked in public. The assault in in Minya's El-Karm village was sparked by rumours that the man was having an illicit relationship with a Muslim woman.

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