A Coptic man was killed and three Copts injured in an attack against Copts in the Minya village of Tahna al-Gabal. Minya lies 230km south of Cairo.
According to Anba Macarius, Bishop-General of Minya, the [extended] family of two priests in the village of Tahna al-Gabal were victims of an attack with clubs and knives, which took place at 6:15pm Sunday 17 July. Fam Mari Khalaf, 27, lost his life on account of a stab that penetrated his heart; two others were moved to the Good Shepherd Hospital in nearby Samalout suffering from serious injuries.
Naguib Hanna, 80, father of the priest Fr Matta’os who is pastor of the church of Mar-Mina in Tahna al-Gabal, was stabbed several times in the face; and Malak Aziz Hanna, 40, brother-in-law of Fr Matta’os and brother of Fr Boutros who is another priest belonging to the same family, suffered from a stab in the right side. Azza Gomaa, 35, a female neighbour, suffered slight injuries in the face.
An argument had erupted between Mr Hanna and a number of Muslims who were driving in a tricycle in front of his house and had attacked his young grandson, a 7-year-old named Mikhail, who was playing there. Eyewitnesses say that the grandfather reprimanded them and a number of Coptic neighbours joined in, which drove the tricycle riders who were carrying knives and clubs, to fight with the Copts. The fight escalated to include scores of Muslim villagers; Mr Khalaf lost his life and three were injured.
Later in the evening, Anba Macarius visited the injured in the hospital. One of them had undergone surgery, and the other was in a stable condition.
Fr Matta’os did not accompany the bishop to check on his old father; he was at the time attempting to calm a crowd of wrathful Coptic villagers who had gathered in front of his house. They were angry at the constant failure of Minya security forces to protect or defend Copts. Three Minya villages—al-Karm, Kom al-Loufi, and Abu-Yacoub—were scenes of violent attacks against Copts during the past six weeks; in all three no culprits were brought to justice. This at the time when the Coptic victims are being pressured into ‘conciliating’ with their attackers and relinquishing their legal rights. The attack in Tahna al-Gabal is the fourth in Minya since 24 May 2016.
18 July 2016