The Coptic nun Athnasia from the convent of Mar-Girgis (St George) in Masr al-Qadeema (Old Cairo) lost her life today while in a car on the Cairo Alexandria Desert Road. Sister Athnasia was riding with two other nuns, a female doctor, and the driver from her convent to another Mar-Girgis convent in al-Khatatba off the Cairo Alexandria desert highway. At 58 kilometers from Cairo, their car was caught in a crossfire between two cars that were driving by, the passengers of which were shooting at one another. The details of the shooting and the reason behind it is not yet known.
Mar-Girgis convent in Masr al-Qadeema issued a statement in which it said that Sister Athnasis lost her life on the spot after she was hit by a number of shots. The other passengers and the driver are safe.
Bishop-General Anba Ermiya said that a police officer and his son were also killed in the shooting, but it is not known whether or not they were the ones targeted.
Sister Athnasia is the sister of the late Fr Yustus who was a monk and priest at the monastery of Anba Pola, and Fr Arsanius al-Malawani who is pastor of the church of the Holy Virgin in Salmaniya in the southern province of Nag Hammadi.
5 July 2016