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ICC Note:
“It was obvious they didn’t kill him for the money […] they killed him to terrorize the Christians.” Magdi Lamei, a Christian shopkeeper was abducted and later killed and his body was dumped on the street in Egypt’s north Sinai region. In a region notorious for its violence and lawlessness the past few weeks have been an escalation of kidnappings, attacks, and killings. The violence has led to an exodus from the region by the Christian community.
7/16/2013 Egypt (Morning Star News) – Christians in two villages in North Sinai, Egypt have fled for their lives after a priest was gunned down and a Christian businessman was abducted and killed, his decapitated body dumped onto a street.
On Thursday (July 11) the body of Christian businessman Magdy Lamei was found in the town of Sheikh Zuwayed. Suspected members of an unidentified Islamic extremist militant group had kidnapped him on July 6, and he was thought to have been killed on the first day of Ramadan, which in Egypt began on Wednesday (July 10).
At first glance, the abduction seemed to be just another of the kidnappings that have unsettled the area. But Yousef Soubhy, a Coptic Orthodox priest formerly in Rafah, said investigations indicated that wasn’t the case. The suspected militants purposely targeted a Christian leader, he said.
“He was a committed Christian, and he used to serve in the church, and he was active in his prayers and his ministry – he used to open his home for prayers,” Soubhy told Morning Star News. “It was obvious they didn’t kill him for the money.”
Soubhy said that when Lamei was killed, negotiations with the militants were still underway, and the ransom demand of 300,000 Egyptian pounds (US$42,545) was close to being collected.
“They didn’t wait for the money, they just killed him,” Soubhy said. “They killed him to terrorize the Christians.”
The grisly killing of Lamei and the lethal shooting of the Rev. Mina Aboud Sharubim, a Coptic priest, in Arish on July 6, were the final factors depleting three villages of Christians who have suffered months of attacks, threats and harassment. All Christians in Rafah and Sheikh Zuwayed have left, as have most of the Christians of Arish, sources said.
Some of those who left the three towns took only what they could carry and abandoned everything else; others said they hope to return once things cool down.
Fadiya Abdel Sayed, her husband and their three children left Rafah on Tuesday (July 9) to move back to their hometown of Assuit. They left with 13 other Christian families, broken and fearful over the killing of Sharubim in Arish.

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