The Copts of the village of al-Our in Samalout, Minya, Upper Egypt, have demanded heightened security in their village because of escalating Muslim harassment against them.
Al-Our is home to 13 out of the 20 Copts beheaded by IS in Libya last February. These Copts were killed for their Christian faith and have been canonised by the Coptic Orthodox Church. President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered that a church in their honour should be built in the village, which drove fanatic Muslims to attempt to halt this project. A few weeks ago, however, the matter was peacefully resolved through intervention of the moderate elders of the village, and the new church is now already being built.
The recent Muslim acts of harassment against the Copts resulted in five incidents of burning Coptic-owned fields and crops, and pelting Coptic homes and a coal workshop with stones.
Yesterday, Tuesday 28 April, unknown assailants hurled two Molotov bombs at the home of Samuel Elhem who was among those beheaded by the Libya IS. One bomb caused damages to the door and windows; the other fell inside the house but did not detonate and therefore caused no casualties or damages. The aged mother of Mr Elhem had been sleeping in the spot where the second bomb fell.
Al-Our Copts claim that the attacks against them are incited by Muslims from outside the village; they insist that relations between them and al-Our Muslims is peaceful and cordial.
29 April 2015