A church guard in Alexandria was stabbed in the neck by a young man who attempted to enter the church and was stopped by the guard.
Mina Fouad Zakhary, aka Mina Salama, 47, was standing guard at the gate of the church of the Saints St Mark and St Peter the Last of the Martyrs in Sidi Bishr, Alexandria, on the early afternoon of Saturday 15 July when a young man attempted to force his way through the gate. Mr Zakhary stopped him, asking: “Where are you going to?” upon which the young man took out a razor blade and stabbed the guard in the neck. Other guardsmen who were close by in the church courtyard hurried to rescue Mr Zakhary and catch the young man who was carrying a laptop computer and a mobile phone connected to headphones on which he was listening to Qur’anic verses.
Mr Zakhary was rushed to St Mark’s Hospital where it was found that the wound was not deep and it was stitched. His condition is stable.
The culprit was led to the nearest police station. His identity was revealed as 24-year-old Abdullah Adel Ahmed Hassan, a law school graduate, and unemployed. When asked why he stabbed Mr Zakhary, he said: “I defend my religion.” He said he wished to “go to Paradise” by killing the church guard. Investigations are ongoing.
The church pastors, Fr Maqar Fawzy and Fr Matta’os Sabry, told Watani that the stabbing incident occurred at a time during the day when there were little children in the pre-school nursery of the church, and a group of young men and women holding a spiritual gathering. But the stabbing was far away from both activities, they said. Church services and rituals went along during their normal hours and schedules, they confirmed.
The stabbing comes at a time when terrorist threats against Egypt in general and Copts in specific are seeing almost unprecedented escalation. A few days ago the Interior Ministry asked churches nationwide to halt all summer trips and visits to monasteries till the end of July or until further notice. Churches promptly complied, declaring their perfect understanding of the need for caution on terrorist threats, and commending the huge efforts exerted by the security authorities to counter these threats.
16 July 2017