Samalout train shooting suspect not mentally ill, says minister

Al-Ahram Online, Thursday 13 Jan 2011

Mufid Shehab describes the gunman as being mentally stable while his lawyer distances the train shooting from the Two Saints Church blast

Moffed Shehab

Mufid Shehab, minister of parliamentary councils and constitutional affairs, has denied that Amer Ashour, the suspected gunman in the Samalout train shooting, was mentally ill, especially that there are no official documents to indicate so. Shehab added that they are waiting the attorney general’s investigations.

Moreover, the governor of Minya, Ahmed Diaa El-Din, stated that it could be possible that Ashour had a history of illness, however he seemed in his right mind. Diaa El-Din asked the head of the railway authority to increase security measures to avoid any similar attacks in the future.

Ashour's lawyer, Gamal Soliman, insisted, however, that Ashour is mentally ill. He went on to say that the incident is unrelated to the Two Saints Church attack.

Furthermore, Coptic thinker Kamal Zaher stated that society needs to think deeply about the causes behind such incidents, especially those that occurred in the last couple of years.

He added that we can’t only blame the police and that it is time for real analysis and action.

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