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Egypt: police open fire on Coptic Christian protestors; dozens slain

Catholic World News - October 10, 2011

Military police in Cairo opened fire on Coptic Christian protestors, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. The Christians were protesting the recent burning of a church in southern Egypt.

“Today occurred a massacre of the Copts,” said Father Filopateer Gamil, who witnessed the protest. “We only had wooden crosses,” said Nader Shoukry, a Coptic activist and journalist, who denied claims that the Coptic protestors were violent.

“They arranged a trap for us,” added Father Filopateer. “As soon as we arrived they surrounded us and started shooting live ammunition randomly at us. Then the armored vehicles arrived and ran over protesters.”

Father Nabil Fayez Antoun, the national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Egypt, told the Fides news service that media outlets quickly began spreading the charge that the Christian protesters had attacked the military. As a result, after the initial killings, angry Muslims converged on the Christians who had gathered around hospitalized, waiting for news of their injured companions. The violence flared, causing new Christian casualties.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, a Melkite Catholic priest serving in Egypt charged that the government "doesn't give a damn" about the safety of the Christian minority. While the government under ousted President Hosni Mubarak had not been friendly toward Christians, Father Rafic Greiche said, "the security services always used to take care of us. Now, even the government does not give a damn about what is happening.”

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Oct. 10, 2011 10:23 PM ET USA

    The evening news actually reported this incident. They have ignored all the killing of Christians in that area for some time,I believe. Why now,slow news day?

  • Posted by: rpp - Oct. 10, 2011 7:20 PM ET USA

    nomnuke, I think you made a typo. In your phrase "bestial treatment of Christians", instead of the word "of", I think you meant "by". Had you said that, then yes, that is what I would expect Obama to do.

  • Posted by: - Oct. 10, 2011 5:17 PM ET USA

    The Obama administration will take a stern view of this and demand, yes, demand cessation of this bestial treatment of Christians. I'm sure of it.

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