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Egypt couple’s murder marks second attack on Christians during Copt Christmas

ICC Note: An Egyptian Christian couple was murdered in their home on January 6, 2017. According to police the crime was motivated by robbery, but family members are saying they were killed for their faith. Gamal and Nadia Sami were found by relatives with slit throats and multiple stab wounds. According to Magdy Girgis, Nadia’s brother, she was still wearing her jewelry and nothing had been stolen from the house. It is still unclear what the motives might have been.

01/13/2017 Egypt (WWM): Two Egyptian Coptic Christians found dead in their bed on 6 January – the traditional Christmas celebration for Copts – were murdered because of their faith, according to the brother of the dead woman.

Police said robbery was the motivation for the deaths of Gamal Sami, 60 and his wife, Nadia, 48, but her brother, Magdy Amin Girgis – the first person to reach the crime scene – told World Watch Monitor nothing was taken from the couple’s home.

Magdy found his sister still wearing her jewellery after the double killing, and nothing missing.

He’d visited the house in Minufiyah, northern Egypt, after being alerted by the couple’s son, Kirolos, who works out of the area and who had been trying to contact them on their mobile phones.

Worried, Kirolos contacted Magdy at 11am and asked him to visit the couple’s home. Magdy, who’d had dinner with the couple only the night before (5 Jan), when they’d planned their Christmas visit to the Mar Girgis church in their village, said “[Kirolos] was very worried about them. I told him that I was with them yesterday evening and they were fine.”

Magdy decided to try phoning his sister and her husband, but they did not answer so he immediately headed to their home.

No-one answered the door but he managed to get in with the help of a carpenter. He told World Watch Monitor he found the couple, both stabbed, with their throats cut and “drenched in blood,” still on their bed. On looking around their home, he said he thought the murderers had come through an abandoned property behind his sister’s and then entered by breaking a window on the stairs.

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