Egypt Police Rescue Kidnapped Copts Leaving Marian Pilgrimage Site
ICC Note: Police forces in Minya Egypt were able to rescue four Christians who had been abducted by armed men while returning home from a Christian pilgrimage site. Minya is known as the epicenter of abductions of Christians, as ICC highlighted in the May edition of Persecution Magazine. Often police forces are slow to respond, but this case shows the importance of authorities taking decisive action to find and return those who’ve been taken.
05/21/2015 Egypt (Ecumenical News) Egyptian police have rescued four Copts who were kidnapped while on their way from a pilgrimage site in Minya province.
Authorities raided an isolated farmhouse in the mountainous area not far from the city of Salamut where the victims were taken away by armed gunmen, the Catholic Fides news agency reported.
Police tracked down the hideout of the kidnappers, who demanded ransom from the victims’ families of 600,000 Egyptian pounds ($79,000), at the village of Akoris.
The raiding team stormed the kidnappers’ safe house around dawn May 20, and a firefight ensued between authorities and the criminals. Some of the kidnappers managed to escape.
Police found the victims shackled with chains at the farm, and saw indications that they had been tortured by their captors, who waited for ransom to be paid.
The victims said the kidnappers constantly threatened to kill them if their families refused to pay ransom.
Some of the victims even suffered physical abuse as the kidnappers beat them up while waiting for the families to give into their demands.
Three of the victims were adults with ages ranging from 20 to 35 years, while the fourth was a five-year-old child.