The police has caught three men who killed the Coptic nun Sister Athnasia from the convent of Mar-Girgis (St George) in Masr al-Qadeema (Old Cairo) on 5 July.
The three men are Farahat E.S. who is 27 and holds a law degree; Hassan D.S, 28; and Mukhtar G.H., in his early 30s. The latter two are private guardsmen. The first
suspect was caught in Agouza in Giza, Cairo; the second in a village in Assiut some 350km south of Cairo, and the third in Alexandria.
Sister Athnasia lost her life while in a car on the Cairo Alexandria Desert Road.She 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 caught in a
drive-by shooting that targeted another car.
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 were safe.
It was thought then that a police officer and his son had been killed in the shootout,but it later was discovered that it was not so. One man died, the businessman
Abdel-Halim Hemeida who was also a local politician. He was driving home from the airport after arriving from pilgrimage to Mecca; his son Hamza, 22, was
driving. The attackers waited for them to drive by and shot at them with automatic weapons. Hamza was injured in the leg and foot, but was moved to hospital and
underwent surgery. Hamza said the attackers belonged to a Bedouin family that was in dispute with his father’s family over a piece of land in the vicinity of Wadi
al-Natroun. One of the Bedouins had been killed and his family had vowed a vendetta. He accused two men by name.
Sister Athnasia was born in 1962 in the village of al-Rahmaniya in Nag Hammadi,
Upper Egypt. She took orders in 1992. She was 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 Nag Hammadi where the Malawanis are a well-respected family.
15 July 2016