Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria mourned on Sunday four Egyptian Christians who were killed last week in Cyprus’s Larnaca district due to a huge forest fire.
The bodies of the four victims, all from the Nasiriya village in Upper Egypt’s Minya governorate, were airlifted to Egypt Saturday evening.
Bishop Stephanous of Biba and Fashn extended Pope Tawadros’s condolences to the families of the four Egyptian young men, noting the pope had been following up on the procedures of transporting the bodies since yesterday.
Pope Tawadros also extended thanks to Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
He also thanked Minister of Health Hala Zayed and Minister of Emigration Nabila Makram for the continuous follow-up efforts since the beginning of the incident and for facilitating the procedures of returning the bodies.
A funeral for the four young men was held on Sunday in the Nasiriya village, their hometown, in the presence of Cypriot Ambassador to Cairo Omiros Mavrommatis and Minya governor Osama Al-Qady.
The victims’ corpses were found close to Odou, a mountainous village in the Larnaca district.
The blaze, which Cypriot officials described as the "worst and most destructive" in decades, broke out earlier this month. It has caused "loss of life" and destroyed property and forest lands, President Anastasiades tweeted last week.