Tags: gunmen | surrender | coptic | violence

Gunmen Surrender in Christian Coptic Attack

Friday, 08 January 2010 11:02 AM

CAIRO — Egyptian police said on Friday that they have arrested three suspects in a Christmas Eve shooting that killed six Copts and sent shock waves through the country's Christian minority.

Police had scoured sugarcane fields for the three suspects in the shooting which struck the southern Egyptian town Nagaa Hammadi on Wednesday, the night before Coptic Christmas.

"Police arrested them in a sugarcane field," one official told AFP.

Gunmen opened fire on the Copts as they emerged from midnight mass. They raked pedestrians along a stretch of road that housed two churches and a shopping mall, leaving pools of blood on the roadside.

A Muslim policeman was also killed in the attack.

Coptic mourners clashed with police the following day as they buried their dead. The shooting raised tensions in southern Egypt, where there have been repeated sectarian clashes in the past.

Copts, who account for up to 10 percent of Egypt's population of 80 million, are the Middle East's largest Christian community but complain of routine discrimination and harassment.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Friday, 08 January 2010 11:02 AM
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