Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church mourned on Sunday the death of an Egyptian Christian who was killed by ISIS in North Sinai’s Bir El-Abd, a city that has witnessed several deadly terrorist attacks and army raids on terror hotbeds.
The terrorist group released a video where they executed a 62-year old man by shooting. An ISIS speaker in the video said the execution of Nabil El-Habashy comes as a result of his cooperation with the Egyptian army.
The Coptic Orthodox Church mourned El-Habashy in a statement as a “faithful son and servant” who “adhered to his religion till death.” According to the church, El-Habashy had been held captive by terrorist militias for five months.
The church also voiced full solidarity with the state in “countering the hateful acts of terrorism.”
The statement said such acts “would only raise our determination and insistence to preserve our precious national unity.”
“We pay tribute to our heroes of the Egyptian armed forces and police and offer our condolences to the family of the martyr, praying for the sake of our country’s peace and prosperity,” the statement added.
El-Habashy appeared in the ISIS video before he had been executed, saying he had been held captive in ISIS’s Sinai Province for around 3 months and 11 days.
He said he contributed to building the Church of Virgin Mary in Bir El-Abd, asserting that the church is cooperating with the army and the intelligence service in the war against ISIS.
The video then showed El-Habashy on his knees in front of three terrorists with rifles.
Speaking during the video, one of the terrorists called for a crusade against Christians, warning Christian people in Egypt in particular of a similar fate in the event of cooperation with the army.
The speaker during the video then shot El-Habashy in the back of his head.
The deceased’s daughter, Marina Nabil, wrote on Facebook “I will miss you, my father. You made us proud during your life with your virtues and in your martyrdom with your strong faith.”
In 2017, Bir El-Abd witnessed the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history, when Islamist terrorist elements attacked Muslim worshippers in Al-Rawdah mosque, killing over 300 people, including children.
In 2020, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said police killed 18 terrorists in a shootout in Bir El-Abd. This came days after ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack in which 10 Egyptian military personnel were killed or wounded in the same area.
In July last year, The Egyptian armed forces announced the foiling of a terrorist attack targeting a military position in Bir El-Abd. The army announced the killing of 18 takfiris who had participated in the attack.