Egypt hunts for killers in church wedding attack

October 21, 2013 12:26 pm
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Islamists were enraged by the deadly crackdown and accused Coptic Christians of backing the coup that toppled Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood and was Egypt’s first democratically elected president.

This perception was fuelled by the appearance of Coptic Pope Tawadros II alongside army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi when he announced on television Morsi’s removal from office.

Muslim leaders and other politicians were also present.

Rights groups say that Copts, who account for six to 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people, have come under attack mainly in the provinces of Minya and Assiut in central Egypt.

Earlier this month London based Amnesty International said that more than 200 Christian owned properties were attacked and 43 churches seriously damaged across the country since the August 14 crackdown.

In its report Amnesty International blamed Egyptian security forces for failing to stop “revenge attacks” against Coptic Christians after the violent dispersal of the pro-Morsi camps.

The Muslim Brotherhood has deplored Sunday’s attack and blamed it in part on the military installed authorities.

“The military backed authorities continue to turn a blind eye to deliberate acts of arson, vandalism and murder,” it said in a statement.

Egypt’s Copts have long complained of discrimination and marginalisation, particularly under Morsi’s one-year rule.

Egypt’s new government is engaged in a widespread crackdown on Islamists, jailing more than 2,000 since the storming of the pro-Morsi camps.

Morsi himself is in custody and is to go on trial November 4 over deadly clashes between his supporters and opponents outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

Most of the Brotherhood’s leaders, including its supreme guide Mohammed Badie, are also in custody.

An Egyptian court last month banned the Muslim Brotherhood from operating and seized its assets.

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