Egypt files murder charges against man held for Coptic church attack

People gather at the site of attack on a church in the Helwan district south of Cairo
People gather at the site of attack on a church in the Helwan district south of Cairo, Egypt December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

January 2, 2018

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s public prosecutor has filed murder charges against a man accused of killing 11 people in an attack on a Coptic church and a Christian-owned shop in a Cairo suburb last week, judicial sources said.

The man, arrested after the Dec. 29 attack, was receiving medical treatment in custody for injuries sustained in an exchange of gunfire with authorities outside the church. The prosecutor ordered him detained pending investigations, the sources said.

“He is accused of premeditated murder, attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed weapon and using it for terrorist activity,” a judicial source said.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks shortly afterwards, in a statement carried out by its Amaq news agency, though it provided no evidence for the claim.

Islamist militants have claimed several attacks on Egypt’s large Christian minority in recent years, including two bombings on Palm Sunday in April and a blast at Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral in December 2016 that killed 28 people.

(Reporting by Haitham Ahmed; Writing by Nadine Awadalla, Editing by William Maclean)

  • Maulerman

    What a joke and a farce! The Egyptian government probably supplied the assailant with weapons and money. Do you really think the assailant will be convicted of anything? Remember under Islam, believers and non-believers are treated differently. Non-believers have to pay all sorts of taxes to live in these countries. Everyone should read their supposed holy book of peace. Then you would know exactly why they are doing what they are doing. There will be no surprise. The world turns a blind eye to this cancer.