Coptic Christians Massacred in Egypt Protest

Coptic Christians massacred
Coptic Egyptian demonstrators gather during cashes with the Egyptian Army following a demonstration Coptic Christians protest church attacks, Cairo, Egypt. (Ahmed Asad/APAimages/Rex Features)

A march by Coptic Christians in Cairo on Sunday led to retaliation from Egypt’s Army that killed at least 35. The photographs from the scene are too gruesome to print. Massacre is the best word to describe the violence.

"Today occurred a massacre of the Copts," AINA reported Coptic priest, Father Filopateer Gamil, as saying. "I was an eyewitness to all what happened. They arranged a trap for us. As soon as we arrived they surrounded us and started shooting live ammunition randomly at us. Then the armored vehicles arrived and ran over protesters."

The Copts marched to demand an end to the ongoing persecution and discrimination. News reports vary, but at least 35 Copts were beaten, gunned down or bulldozed-over by army tanks in an Egyptian Army rampage. Local Islamic extremists were reportedly involved in the deadly attacks that also injured more than 300.

According to International Christian Concern, the violence erupted during protests about the destruction of a church building in Aswan Province on Sept. 30. The protest organizers were concerned about the lack of effective intervention by the security forces and the attitude of the governor of Aswan Province. ICC reports that the demonstration, which included Christians and some non-Christians, was disrupted by thugs.

“When protesters left the Shubra neighborhood they were attacked by people throwing stones. After some time the protesters continued their march. Eyewitness reports mention that residents of the neighborhood of Bulaq then attacked the marchers,” ICC reports. “Once the protesters arrived in the Maspero area they were met by thugs who attacked them with stones and sticks. When some of the protesters threw stones back at these attackers the army intervened and attacked the marchers. The army used live ammunition and drove into the crowds with armored personnel carriers.”

Tamer al Mihi, a member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, was an eyewitness to the violence. He reports hearing gunshots and watching the military police attacking the demonstrators with stick and belts and firing at them.

“And then we saw two armored vehicles chasing down the (inaudible) in front of the TV building at an unbelievable speed in the middle of the demonstrators and running them over, literally running them over,” ABC News reports. “I saw three people, at least three people who were killed and a huge number of injured people.”

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