04/10/2013, 00.00
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Egypt, Tawadros II: Morsi is responsible for the attacks against Christians

Coptic Orthodox Patriarch says never in two thousand years has St. Mark’s Cathedral suffered such an attack. The Islamist president is not protecting Christians. The video of the assault which took place on April 7. Young Christians and Muslims take to streets in sign of the unity of the Egyptian people.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - The Islamists attacks on St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo has aroused considerable concern within the Coptic Orthodox community, which for the first time has pointed the finger at President Mohamed Morsi and his entourage. The charge against the Islamist head of state was voiced by Coptic Orthodox Patriarch, Tawadros II, who in a recent interview with the private Ontv television said: "We want facts, not just words. President Morsi has promised to do everything in his power to protect the cathedral, but in reality he hasn't". Today, hundreds of young Christians and Muslims organized a protest against attacks and to enhance dialogue and unity between the two components of Egyptian society.

On 7 April, in front of St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, a group of Islamists hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at participants in the funerals of four Christians killed in sectarian clashes that took place on April 5 in the district of Khosous on the outskirts of the capital. The attack, which took place under the eyes of the police, left two dead and over 80 injured. A church building was also set on fire.

According to the Patriarch, Morsi is responsible for what happened, "his behavior comes under the category of negligence and poor assessment of events. In two thousand years our cathedral has never suffered an attack like that." Tawadros II urges the authorities to take a clear position because "the situation has gone beyond the limits of freedom of expression and has reached an unsustainable level of chaos."

After the assault Morsi said that the violence of recent days "are an attack against my own person," and proposed the revival of the defunct Committee for justice and equality. But Tawadros II has responded that " there are already enough of these committees and groups, none of them ever really worked".

The amateur images filmed by some activists of the Maspero Youth Union show the violence of the clashes on April 7, with dozens of extremists shouting anti-Christian slogans, inciting hatred against the minority. In the video the police can also be seen throwing tear gas inside the cathedral, intoxicating even women and elderly people who had taken refuge in the church. In a video some unknown masked men are seen shooting from a terrace on the Christians below.

Here are the videos of the clashes posted to AsiaNews by young activists of the Maspero Youth Union:

Video of the clashes in front of St. Mark's Cathedral in the Christian quarter of Abasseya: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7laPVTKztA

Unknown masked shooting at the Copts:

Tear gas attack on the Patriarch's residence:

Fire in the Patriarch's residence:


Tear gas used against injured people and ambulances:


Fire in a building in the complex of the Cathedral:


Police fire tear gas at the cathedral:


Attacks against the cathedral with pipe bombs and stones:


Christians in front of the Cathedral in flames:


Egyptians try to stop the clashes:


Photo of thugs involved in the attacks:

Muslims chant "Allah is Great" during the assault on the cathedral:




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