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Egypt: National and international reactions after attack on Coptic Church

Saturday 30 December 2017, by siawi3

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/286236/Egypt/Politics-/Western,-Arab-states-condemn-terror-attack-on-Egyp.aspx

Western, Arab states condemn terror attack on Egyptian church

Ahram Online ,

Friday 29 Dec 2017

Photo: helwan church
People gather at the site of attack on a church in the Helwan district south of Cairo, Egypt December 29, 2017 (Photo: Reuters )

Related
PHOTO GALLERY: Nine killed in attack on a church south of Cairo
UPDATE 3: At least nine killed as Egyptian forces foil attack on a church south of Cairo

A number of Western and Arab countries condemned a terrorist attack on a church in Egypt’s Helwan on Friday, including the USA, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, and Jordan.

Two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle killed nine people as they opened fire early Friday on a church south of Cairo, ahead of Coptic Christmas celebrations next week.

Security forces shot dead one of the assailants in an exchange of fire outside the church of Mar Mina in Helwan district, just south of Cairo, while the other assailant was captured, state TV and state news agency MENA said.

Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that nine people — including a Muslim and eight Christians — had been killed, in addition to the gunman, and five injured. Those wounded include two women in critical condition, he added.

State TV aired footage of the assailant’s body, showing a bearded man wearing an explosive vest lying on the ground as crowds gathered.

The US embassy in Cairo condemned Friday’s terrorist attack, saying on their official Twitter account that the United States "stands steadfastly with the people of Egypt in the face of such cowardly attacks."

The German embassy in Cairo has also condemned the terrorist attack, saying that there is no justification for attacks on peaceful worshippers of any religion, affirming that Germany stands by Egypt and Egyptians in the war against terrorism.

The German ambassador in Cairo Julius Georg Luy added: "I am filled with sadness that terrorism revealed its inhumane face by attacking places of worship, even at the end of this year, and it cannot be allowed, and it will not be able to part Egyptians.â€

A spokesperson for the French foreign ministry stressed his country’s solidarity with and support for Egypt in its war on terrorism, referring to the intensified bilateral talks between the two countries on that issue at all levels, which Egypt and France intend to consolidate in the coming months.

In a statement, the spokesperson added that France condemns the attack and extends its condolences to Egypt, adding that these acts will not jeopardise the foundation of tolerance that distinguishes Egyptian society.

Several Arab countries have also resonded to the incident. A Saudi official in the foreign ministry said that his country strongly condemns the terrorist attack, wishing speed recovery to the injured, state-run news agency MENA reported the official Saudi news agency as saying.

Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent a condolence telegram to President El-Sisi, saying that "this terrorist act violates all religious laws and human values, as it targets innocent safe souls, and disputes the security and stability of our brotherly country."

Al-Sabah stressed his country’s support for all measures taken by Egypt to protect its security and stability.

UAE also condemned these "criminal acts," stressing its rejection of all forms of violence and terrorism, affirming its strong support for Egypt against these dangerous crimes, a statement by UAE official news agency was reported by MENA.

The Jordanian minister of media affairs, Mohamed Al-Momeny, also condemned the “criminal†attack, praising the efforts of Egyptian security bodies in foiling the attempt that "would have led to catastrophic results, leaving more victims," and affirming his country’s support for the Egyptian government and people.

The Palestinian ambassador to Egypt, the Yemeni foreign ministry, and Oman’s government have also condemned that attack, stressing their countries’ support to Egypt in its war on terrorism.

The interior ministry said in a statement on Friday afternoon that police had arrested an attacker who attempted to drive through security forces outside the church armed with a machine gun, ammunition and a bomb that he intended to detonate in the church.

The ministry said he killed two people when he opened fire on a shop, before heading to the church where he shot dead seven people, including a policeman.

The arrested attacker is an active terrorist who has carried out a number of terrorist attacks targeting police and civilians, the statement added.
Cairo’s security chief and a number of security officials visited the scene of the attack.

Friday’s attack took place as Egyptian Coptic Christians, who make up around 10 percent of the country’s 93 million population, are preparing for Christmas on 7 January.

Islamist militants have killed dozens of Christians in bombings and shootings in recent years.

Security forces have beefed up security around churches ahead of the Coptic celebrations, deploying policemen to guard churches and installing metal detectors at some larger churches.

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Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/286232/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Sisi,-top-religious-institutions-condemn-te.aspx

Egypt’s Sisi, top religious institutions condemn terrorist attack on Helwan church

Egypt’s Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb has called on Egyptian Muslims to join Copts in Christmas celebrations, as a form of refusal of the evil plans of terrorists

Ahram Online ,

Friday 29 Dec 2017

Helwan church
Egyptian security members and forensic police inspect the site of a gun attack outside a church south of the capital Cairo, on December 29, 2017 (Photo: AFP)

Related
PHOTO GALLERY: Nine killed in attack on a church south of Cairo
UPDATE 3: At least nine killed as Egyptian forces foil attack on a church south of Cairo

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and top Egyptian institutions and officials have condemned the terrorist attack on a Helwan church, calling for heightened security and for Muslims to join Christians in their religious celebrations to show unity against terrorism.

El-Sisi praised the "heroic spirit and high sacrifices" of security personnel foiling the terrorist attack aimed at a Helwan church Friday.

A statement by El-Sisi’s office described the attack as "vicious" and urged heightened security around vital state institutions.

El-Sisi extended his condolences to the families of the martyrs of the attack, adding that desperate attempts to sow terror will only increase the insistence of Egyptians to continue cleansing the country of terrorism and extremism.

Two unidentified gunmen killed nine people as they opened fire early Friday on a church south of Cairo, ahead of Coptic Christian celebrations next week.

Security forces shot dead one of the assailants in an exchange of fire outside the church of Mar Mina in Helwan district while the other assailant was captured, state TV and state news agency MENA said.

Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that nine people — including a Muslim and eight Christians — had been killed, in addition to the gunman, and five injured. Those wounded include two women in critical condition, he added.

State TV aired footage of the assailant’s body, showing a bearded man wearing an explosive vest lying on the ground as crowds gathered.

The interior ministry said he killed two people when he opened fire on a shop before heading to the church where he shot dead seven people, including a policeman.

Egypt’s Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb harshly condemned the terrorist attack, calling on Egyptian Muslims to join Copts in Christmas celebrations, as a form of rejection of the evil plans of terrorists.

El-Tayyeb said in a statement that the aims behind terrorist attacks that target Copts on days of celebration is now exposed, and that foiling these aims by holding onto love and attachment that bring together Muslims and Christians is the most painful response to the terrorists.

Egyptian Grand Mufti Shawky Allam said that those who "attack churches and terrorise the people in them" is "an enemy of the Prophet," adding that what terrorist and extremist groups have done is religiously forbidden and violates the high principles of sharia law, which calls for preserving souls, making the sacredness of innocent blood the same as the sacredness of the holy Kaaba.

The Coptic Orthodox Church spokesperson Boules Halim announced that a collective funeral for the martyrs in the attack will be held at a time and place to be later announced.

The Egyptian cabinet also condemned the Friday attack, extending condolences to the families of the victims, affirming that terror will not shake the determination of the government and the unity of Egyptians fighting in terrorism.

Egypt’s parliament also extended condolences to the families of the victims, saying that the "bullets of terrorists did not differentiate between a Muslim and a Christian, or between a mosque and a church," as terrorism targets all from the national social fabric.

Cairo’s security chief and a number of security officials visited the scene of the attack on Friday.

Coptic Christians, who make up around 10 percent of the country’s 93 million population, celebrate Christmas on 7 January.

Islamist militants have killed dozens of Christians in bombings and shootings in recent years.

Security has been enhanced around churches ahead of the Coptic celebrations, deploying policemen to guard churches and installing metal detectors at some larger churches.