A Coptic Christian priest was killed in Egypt's northern Sinai region Saturday in what officials are calling the first sectarian attack since the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last week.
The priest, Mina Aboud Sharween, 39, was attacked in the early afternoon while walking in the Masaeed area in El Arish, Reuters reported. Security sources said he was shot dead by a gunman riding a motorcycle.
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It's not yet clear what the motivation was for the killing, but some reports say the shooter was an Islamist militant.
The shooting in the coastal city was one of several attacks believed to be by Islamist insurgents that included firing at four military checkpoints in the region, the sources said.
Saturday's attacks on checkpoints took place in al-Mahajer and al-Safaa in Rafah, as well as Sheikh Zuwaid and al-Kharouba.
The violence follows attacks in which five police offers were killed in El Arish on Friday.
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood has fiercely criticized Coptic Pope Tawadros, spiritual leader of Egypt's 8 million Christians, for giving his blessing to the removal of the president and attending the announcement by armed forces commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi suspending the constitution.
An Egyptian youth union released a statement denouncing what they identified as Muslim Brotherhood attacks on churches.
"The president's supporters attacked [the] churches in Luxor, Qena, Minya, Towa, Sharm el-Sheikh, and Marsa Matrouh," the statement said. "We say to them, tear down all the churches, it is not going to stop us from building Egypt ... We will use the stones of our churches to build our homeland."
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