The Coptic Orthodox bishop of Qena, Kyrillos (Photo: Qena Online)
A video circulated on Monday by Egyptian social media users showed a group of men in traditional Egyptian galabeya (robes) mobbing two young women and stripping one of them, shouting that the girls are Coptic Christians. The assailants in the video chant “God is great” as they assault the two women.
The video was uploaded onto the internet on 8 April, and its title stated the incident was filmed in Upper Egypt's Naga Hammadi in Qena Governorate.
Ahram's reporter in Qena, Mahmoud El-Desouki, however, confirmed that the video showed an old incident of sectarian violence dating to 2009. El-Desouki said that the incident had taken place in Farshout, a city close to Naga Hammadi.
The Coptic Orthodox bishop of Qena, Kyrillos, also told Ahram Online on Tuesday that the video was not recent.
“Nothing happened either in my city nor in the neighbouring ones; maybe it’s an old video,” he said.
The video, which was quickly circulated by outraged Egyptians, comes after attacks on Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Cairo sectarian clashes on Sunday which left two dead and at least 90 injured.
Violence started when unknown assailants attacked mourners outside the cathedral where a funeral service was held for four Copts killed earlier Saturday in sectarian violence in Qalioubiya, north of Cairo.
The city of Naga Hammadi was the site of sectarian violence on 7 January 2010, when gunmen attacked the cathedral as Coptic Christians were leaving the Christmas mass service.
Eight Christians and one Muslim were killed.