News / Middle East

Egyptian Investigators Suspect 'Foreigners' in Church Bombing

Angry Coptic Christians clashed with police on Sunday as they demanded more protection for Egypt's Christians following a New Year's Day church bombing that killed 21 of their brethren. Cars driven by Muslims were attacked during the clashes, 2 Jan 2011
Angry Coptic Christians clashed with police on Sunday as they demanded more protection for Egypt's Christians following a New Year's Day church bombing that killed 21 of their brethren. Cars driven by Muslims were attacked during the clashes, 2 Jan 2011

Egyptian investigators say they may have uncovered a number of people with possible links to Saturday's church bombing in Alexandria.  Meanwhile, Egyptian religious leaders are working to maintain a precarious calm between Christians and Muslims after several days of angry demonstrations.   

Egyptian security officials say they have identified a number of possible suspects in Saturday's bloody church bombing in the port city of Alexandria.

Al-Arabiya TV reports Interior Minister Habib al Adli is quoted as saying investigators had uncovered a plot by what was called foreign forces.

Eyewitnesses say a fragile calm prevails after overnight clashes between Coptic Christians and police in front of St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, which is the headquarters of Coptic Pope Shenouda III.  Dozens of police and protesters were reportedly wounded in the clashes.

Pope Shenouda is urging the government to take steps to prevent further violence.

He says everyone should reflect on what to do now in order to come to terms and prevent such events from repeating themselves. He stresses that such violence is new to Egypt.

Egyptian security forces have reportedly been deployed in front of many churches across the country to prevent further attacks. Angry Christians have been demanding the government take action to protect them.

Al-Qaida terrorists have threatened more attacks on churches in Egypt, and other Arab countries on Coptic Christmas, this Friday. An al-Qaida website has listed the names of churches that it says may be attacked.

The Sheikh of Egypt's venerable Islamic Al-Azhar University, Ahmed Tayeb told a gathering that terrorism affects all Egyptians and not just Christians.

He says Muslims and Christians are victims because terrorists have been trained to kill everyone. He insists that what took place at the Alexandria Coptic church may also take place in a mosque next time if terrorism is not nipped in the bud.

University students and staff in major Egyptian cities demostrated to condemn the attack. They chanted anti-terrorism slogans and called for national unity.

Egypt's Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud Zaqzoug urged all Egyptians to unite. He says national unity is the goal of everyone since Egyptians are all the same people.

"Some of us pray in a church and some of us in a mosque, but that is a personal matter and should not affect the fraternal relations between Copts and Muslims."

In Lebanon, former President Amine Gemayel called Saturday's church-bombing a "premeditated massacre of Christians." He tells VOA Egypt and other Arab states must coordinate to try to prevent further such violence: "It is very, very sad to hear the news from Alexandria, and I hope the authorities in Egypt would take the required measures to prevent for the future such kind of events and massacres, and I present my deep sympathy to President Mubarak and to Pope Shenouda."

"We need a strong solidarity among the various Arab leaders, all over the Arab world and the Islamic world to prevent in the future this kind of behavior from the extremists and those people who use political violence to serve I do not know which kind of interests," Gemayel said.

Egypt's government daily al-Ahram reported Coptic Pope Shenouda is refusing to call off Coptic Christmas celebrations Friday.   He is quoted as saying, "Not praying would mean that terrorism has prevented us from celebrating the birth of Christ."

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid