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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More