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Egypt: Security Forces Abandon Coptic Christians During Deadly Attack


By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

CAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News)-- Egyptian security forces failed to intervene during a sectarian attack in Luxor that left four Copts dead and four others seriously injured, according to Amnesty International.

During the July 5 attack that lasted 18 hours, an angry mob armed with metal bars, knives and hammers attacked Coptic homes and businesses in Nagah Hassan, west of Luxor, after the dead body of a Muslim male was discovered nearby.

Despite repeated calls for help, security forces on scene failed to stave off the violence.

"It is outrageous that this attack was left to escalate unhindered in this way," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North African Deputy Director of Amnesty International. "Amnesty International has documented a series of cases in the past where Egypt's security forces used unnecessary force ... yet in this case they held back, even though people's lives were threatened."

The violence began at 3 a.m. just after the body was discovered; by noon, more than 100 Coptic homes had been looted and/or set ablaze. After the Muslim mob had finally finished its mayhem, authorities did manage to detain 18 men on charges of murder, attempted murder and destruction of property.

"The continued sectarian violence in Egypt is an irremovable stain on the record of successive governments which have repeatedly failed to end attacks on minorities," said Sahraoui. "The latest attacks will test the new Egyptian authorities’ political will and their ability to break the pattern of inaction and injustice once and for all."

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