“After the death of two Muslims on April 18 sectarian violence broke out in the southern Egyptian town of Abu Qurqas El Balad… One Christian Copt was killed… homes, shops, businesses, fields and livestock were plundered and torched,” Assyrian International News Agency reports.
By Mary Abdelmassih
4/26/2011 Egypt (AINA) – After the death of two Muslims on April 18 sectarian violence broke out in the southern Egyptian town of Abu Qurqas El Balad, in Minya Governorate, 260 KM south of Cairo. One Christian Copt was killed, an old woman was thrown out of her second floor balcony and ten Copts were hospitalized. Coptic homes, shops, businesses, fields and livestock were plundered and torched.
Christians lived in terror, anticipating a blood bath on Friday, April 22 because Muslims as announced their intention to avenge the death of the two Muslims. Rumors spread throughout Abu Qurqas of many strangers and of trucks loaded with weapons coming into the village to carry out the threats during the Easter week. The terrorized Christian villagers sent pleas everywhere, asking for protection, even to Coptic groups in Europe and the U.S.
“Muslims threw my old mother out of the second floor balcony and torched my home,” said Adel Abdulllah to Hazem Refaat of Free Copts advocacy. His business and home were torched and his father and three brothers were arrested on suspicion of killing the two Muslims.
Copt Eid Roshdy, was stabbed during the violence and later died in hospital.
According to Bishop Makarious twenty Coptic families had their homes and businesses looted by Muslims then torched, and their livestock was stolen. “One shop was only 50 meters away from the police station,” he said. He also confirmed the story of the mother of Adel Abdullah who was thrown out of the second floor balcony.
According to the villagers a fight broke out on Monday, April 18 between the two Muslim families, Abdel-Kader and el-Gazzar which resulted in the death of two Muslims. Meanwhile an altercation took place in front of the villa of Coptic attorney Alaa Reda Roushdy between a minibus driver and passengers and the guards of the villa over a speed hump built in front of the residence, which the driver claimed was damaging busses. People congregated and the villa guards shot into the air to disperse the crowd. The Copts were accused of killing the two Muslims.
Bishop Makarious of Minya and Abu Qurqas said the first version of the story was the Muslims were killed during the fight between two Muslim families, then the story changed to accuse the Copts.