Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Middle east

Egyptian sentenced to death for Coptic shooting spree

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-16

An Egyptian court sentenced a Muslim man to death on Sunday for killing six Coptic Christians and a Muslim police officer in a drive-by shooting on Coptic Christmas Eve in January 2010.

AFP - A Muslim man was condemned to death in south Egypt on Sunday for the January 2010 slaying of six Copts after Christmas mass, a year before a suicide bomber killed 21 people outside a Coptic church.

A Muslim policeman also died when three gunmen in a car raked worshippers emerging from mass with bullets in Nagaa Hammadi, near the southern town of Qena.

Mohammed Ahmad Hossein, also known as Hamam Kammouni, was considered the ringleader of the attack.

A Qena court said it would also announce verdicts against the two other Muslim suspects, Qorshi Abul Haggag and Hendawi Sayyed, on Thursday. All three had pleaded innocent

to charges of carrying out the January 6, 2010 attack.

The chief judge of the Qena security court, which allows no right of appeal, gave no motive for the attack in which the Copts were gunned down.

Threatening to exacerbate tensions between Muslims and Egypt's minority Christians, a suicide bomber killed 21 people outside a church in the northern city of Alexandria after a New Year's Eve mass at the start of 2011.

At the time, the Nagaa Hammadi attack was the deadliest of its kind since 2000 when 20 Copts were killed in sectarian clashes.

Coptic Bishop Anba Kirolos of Nagaa Hammadi welcomed the ruling and said his flock were "satisfied," but a defence lawyer, Alaa Abu Zeid, said it was influenced by the widespread outrage over the Alexandria bombing.

A Qena prosecutor charged the three suspects arrested two days after the attack with "premeditated murder, putting the lives of citizens in danger, and damage to public and private property."

The killings near Qena sparked outrage among Egypt's Copts and led to clashes with police. International condemnation poured in, with the United States protesting at "an atmosphere of intolerance" in Egypt.

Egyptian officials denied a sectarian element in the attack, insisting it was a purely criminal act and linking it to the alleged rape of a Muslim girl by a Coptic man.

The unclaimed Alexandria bombing against the Copts, who mark Christmas on January 7, led to a diplomatic rift between the Vatican and Cairo, which earlier this month recalled its envoy to the Holy See.

Egypt said the envoy was recalled in protest at remarks by Pope Benedict XVI condemning the attack in the Mediterranean city.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church has expressed his solidarity with the Copts and called on world leaders to protect them in the aftermath of the church bombing.

The attack was "yet another sign of the urgent need for the governments of the region to adopt ... effective measures for the protection of religious minorities," the pope said.

The comments were part of a strongly worded defence of the rights of Christians living in Muslim majority countries.

On New Year's Day, just the hours after the attack, the pope called for an end to the "discrimination, abuse and religious intolerance which are today striking Christians in particular."

Copts make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 80-million population.

Date created : 2011-01-16

COMMENT(S)