The Copts in the village of al-Marashda in Nag Hammadi, some 600km south of Cairo, have been under attack by the Muslim villagers since last evening, under the pretext that a 60-year
The Copts in the village of al-Marashda in Nag Hammadi, some 600km south of Cairo, have been under attack by the Muslim villagers since last evening, under the pretext that a 60-year-old Copt, Nader Attiya, molested a four-year-old village girl. Even though the girl was pronounced unmolested by the medical authorities in the village, the attack has been ongoing.
Coptic homes, shops, and businesses have been targeted. The attack started on Thursday evening in the wake of calls shouted through the mosque microphone against the village Copts. The Copts quickly reported it to the police, and security forces moved to the village, but then it was to protect the village church of Abu-Fam which nevertheless suffered damages: the crosses were broken and the windows smashed by the stones hurled by the assailants. The homes and shops of Copts remained unprotected.
The terrorised Copts did all they could to protect their homes and families. The attack, which was waged by some 400 of the village Muslims resulted in six Coptic-owned shops, three cars and a motorcycle burned.
Today, the attack was resumed after Friday prayers, which drove the security forces to use tear gas to disperse the attackers, and attain some peace.
Anba Kyrillos, Bishop of Nag Hammadi, told Watani that Attiya lives in a Muslim neighbourhood in the village, and that he is known to suffer from domestic problems. His wife recently left him and, on Thursday, the little girl was seen to go into his home. This led a group of Salafi young men who had seen the little girl go in to claim that he had molested her, but a medical investigation pronounced the girl sound and in no way molested.
By midnight, Anba Kyrillos said, the village priest called him to say that the church was under attack. “We directly called the security authorities who hastened to the scene, but the damage was already done. A Coptic-owned garment shop was burned, as was a greengrocer shop, several cars and motorbikes. ”
18 January 2013