Once news got around that Egyptian authorities were breaking up the sit-ins by the Islamist Mursi supporters at the east Cairo district of Rabaa al-Adawiya and the Nahda Square in Giza, west of Cairo, Islamists in various places in Egypt waged violent attacks against Copts and churches.
In the town of Sohag, some 460km south of Egypt, Islamists broke into the bishopric and its church and set them on fire. According to Father Kyrillos of the bishopric, the fire had already eaten up the buildings by the time the fire truck arrived.
The Minya region, 240km south of Cairo, was scene to various attacks by the Islamists against the police and the Copts. Police stations in Matai and Beni-Mazar came under attack.
In the Coptic-majority village of Beni-Ahmed, which was the scene of recent attacks against the Copts by Islamists from the village and neighbouring villages, Mursi supporters started an attack against the Copts this morning but the police confronted them. And in the village of Dalga, also the scene of recent violence against Copts, the 5th-century Monastery of the Holy Virgin and Anba Abra’am was targeted. The place is no longer a monastery even though it retains the name; the grounds include three church and several community service buildings. Father Silwanis Lutfi told Watani that the Islamists broke into the grounds shouting Allahu Akbar, Allah is the Greatest, and set the churches on fire, as well as six buildings which house a clinic, a home for retreat, a pre-school nursery, and the bishop’s residence.
The Islamists also set fire to the church of Mar-Mina in the Abu-Hilal district south of the town of Minya, and also to a clinic which the church operates, again while shouting Islamist slogans. They surrounded churches in Samalout and Mallawi.
The security and police forces are under pressure since their efforts are fragmented in the many locations under attack in the governorate.
Two churches in the Fayoum villages of Nazla and Youssef al-Seddiq were burned, as well as the Society of the Holy Bible in the town of Fayoum, some 100km southwest of Cairo.
In the town of Suez, 100km east of Cairo, the police have received calls for help from the nuns of the Good Shepherd. Their convent, church and the school of the Good Shepherd were set on fire by the Islamists who also blocked the road to prevent the fire trucks from reaching the convent.
11 August 2013
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