Three Coptic men were shot by unknown gunmen as they drove on the road from Fayoum, 100km south west Cairo, to their hometown of Semesta in Beni Sweif, some 100km south of Cairo.
Boulos Naguib, 32; Emad Ghattas, 54; and Moussa Nagah Hanna, 29, were in the car but had to stop because of a tree trunk that blocked the road. Gunmen quickly emerged from the sides of the road and, as the Copts attempted to flee, shot at them. All three Copts were injured, and have been hospitalised. The gunmen fled.
Investigations into the crime are ongoing. It has not been confirmed whether it is of sectarian or criminal nature. The police say it was probably an intended highway robbery.
Copts are known to be affluent members of the community and, in the Beni Sweif shooting, might have been targeted on that account.
17 March 2019