Cairo: Coptic Families Flee after Clashes between Christians and Muslims
August 8, 2012 11 Comments
Cairo – About 100 Christian families have fled from the village of Dahshur (Giza), 40 km south of Cairo after recent violence between the Coptic and Muslim communities. Yesterday, a group of Muslims set fire to several Christian homes and shops and even tried to set fire to the local church. The police intervened with tear gas. In the clashes 16 people were injured, including 10 officers. The group was returning from the funeral of a Muslim who died during a brawl with some Christians took place on July 27. Sources from Giza Diocese report that Coptic families have now left the village for fear of new attacks. The case of Dahshour is the first serious incident of violence between Christians and Muslims since the election of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
The tensions erupted last July 27. The pastor of the parish Mari Gerges (Saint George) in Dahshur, Fr. Takla, says that on that day, Ahmed Ramadan went to Sameh Sami’s laundrette (makwagi), to collect his shirts. One short had been accidently burned. At Ahmad’s protest, Sameh offered to pay for it and the two made an appointment to meet that evening after iftar meal that breaks the daily fast. Ahmed arrived that the evening, but not alone. He was accompanied by several hundred people, armed with knives, guns and Molotov cocktails.
Sameh closed his shop and ran into his house for protection, where his father and brother were. The attackers fired shots and launched Molotov cocktails. One of these failed to explode, Sameh through it back at his attackers. Unfortunately it exploded near Mo’adh Hasaballah, who was badly burned. He was brought to a hospital in Cairo.
The crowd went wild. They attacked the family (father and two children) and another Christian, and burned the houses of Christians. Firefighters could not reach the burning houses because of the crowd. Many Christian houses and shops were destroyed…