- January 12, 2011
- 2 minutes read
Train Attack on Copts Opens Fresh Wounds
An attack on a south-bound train Tuesday evening which killed one Copt and injured other Copts is all Egypt needs, following international expressions of concern over the safety of its Christian population.
The gunman’s flurry of random shots could very well spark a new wave of Christian rioting as Copts are still traumatized by the New Year’s Eve Alexandria church blast which resulted in a total of 23 deaths and close to 100 injuries. Government officials claim that foreign groups are behind the church bombings. According to sources there is no apparent motive behind the train shooting, however, its repercussions are clearly something the authorities do not want to reckon with.
Police are currently questioning the suspect who was dressed in uniform and identified as policeman Amer Ashour Abdel-Zaher.
The attack comes only too soon after Egypt recalled its ambassador to the Vatican, following comments by Pope Benedict XVI where he cited that governments must take effective measures to protect religious minorities.
A spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, Hossam Zaki, condemned the remarks and charged the Pope with interfering in Egypt’s internal affairs, arguing that it was unacceptable.
Egypt’s top cleric, Imam Ahmed el-Tayyib, issued more than one statement also blasting the Pope’s remarks. He stressed that the protection of Christians is an internal affair and should be carried out by the governments as the Christians are Egyptian citizens like any others