Egypt's Al-Azhar denounces 'despicable' murder of Coptic priest

Ahram Online , Thursday 30 Jun 2016

Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed El-Tayeb, Egyptian Imam of al-Azhar Mosque (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning, condemned the "despicable" murder of a Coptic priest who was shot dead Thursday in North Sinai.

Al-Azhar said in a statement that the attack violates "all tolerant teachings of Islam and all divine religions and the traditions and norms of humanity that criminalise terrorism in all its forms."

The priest, Rafael Moussa, 46, was shot in the head as he stood next to his car in El-Arish, the capital of North Sinai, where the army is currently battling an Islamist insurgency.

The attack, which took place as the country marks the third anniversary of the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, was claimed by the Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State militant group.

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