18 February 2018
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  • » 01/17/2018, 15.06

    EGYPT

    North Sinai, a young Copt killed: he had a cross tattooed on his wrist



    The killers promise to "kill more Copts". Bassem Herz Attalhah was killed under the eyes of his brother, who saved himself because his tattoo was hidden by his sleeve. Already in 2010 al Qaeda had promised to clean Sinai from Christians.

    Cairo (AsiaNews) - Killed because he had a cross tattooed on his wrist. This was the fate of Bassem Herz Attalhah, 27, the latest victim of Islamic extremists belonging to the "Islamic State" in Sinai. This trail of blood seems destined to continue with the terrorists' promise to "kill more Copts".

    On January 13, Bassem was returning home from work in al-Arish, the capital of Northern Sinai governorate. With him were his brother Osama, 38, and his friend Mohamed. The group was stopped by three young people between 23 and 25 years old, armed but with their face uncovered.

    "They approached and asked Bassem to show his right wrist, and when they saw the cross tattoo they asked him, 'Are you a Christian?'", says Osama to World Watch Monitor. The cross tattooed on the wrist is a centuries-old tradition of Christians in the region, especially for the Coptic community.

    The extremists controlled the wrists of the other two. Not knowing that Osama was Bassem's brother and not seeing the tattoo on his sleeve, they believed him Muslim. "Bassem told them I have children," says Osama.

    "They fired two shots on the ground near my leg and they asked me to leave ... and then they shot Bassem in the head. I could not believe what had happened to my brother. He fell to the ground in front of me and I could not do anything ".

    Osama concludes his story by remembering that his legs gave in because of the shock as he sought help. Upon hearing the news, the mother of the two was taken to the hospital after fainting.

    Bassem's phone ended up in the hands of the Islamic militia, who responded to a phone call from Milad Wasfi, a friend who could not believe the news of his death. Before hanging up, Bassem’s  killers "said they belonged to the State of Sinai and promised that they would kill more Copts".

    The Christians of Egypt have been the target of the Islamic terrorists of Sinai for years. Already in 2010, Al Qaeda had threatened the Egyptian Church, accused of holding two Muslim women against their will. Last March, the violence forced hundreds of Coptic families to abandon their homes and lands to al-Arish. Throughout Egypt, attacks on Christians have increased since the 2011 revolution. The last attack took place December 29, when eight faithful were killed in a shootout at the entrance of the church of Mar Mina, about 30 km south from the Egyptian capital.

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    See also

    25/11/2017 10:10:00 EGYPT - VATICAN
    Tawadros II and Pope Francis express pain and condemnation of Al-Roda mosque attack

    The attack on the faithful at the conclusion of Friday's prayer left 235 dead and 140 wounded. There are 30 children among the victims. First time a Sunni mosque targeted in Egypt. President Al Sisi declares three days of national mourning and promises to respond to the attack with "maximum force". Air raids against terrorist weapons stores. Pope Francis: Let us pray for hearts hardened by hatred to learn to give up the path of violence.



    27/02/2017 15:02:00 EGYPT – ISLAM
    Fleeing the Sinai, Christian families speak about the terror they experienced

    Copts who fled El Arīsh tell harrowing stories of point-blank shootings, robberies and fires. Some of those who fought in the Sinai War in 1973 are now branded "Crusaders" by Daesh. Death threats have appeared on homes, or just the word “Go”. Some refugees sleep in several cars to ensure that some at least survive in case of an attack. Muslims in Ismailia show friendship.



    27/02/2017 13:54:00 EGYPT – ISLAM
    Christians flee Islamic State violence in North Sinai

    In only ten days, seven people have been shot, beheaded or burnt to death. Refugees have been welcomed in Ismailia, Suez, and Cairo. Christians are Daesh’s new target.



    20/03/2017 14:55:00 EGYPT - VATICAN
    Work begins on program for Pope Francis visit to Egypt

    Over the weekend a Vatican delegation meets with the Egyptian president. Al Sisi’s "great esteem" for Pope Francis. The visit to the President, the Coptic Patriarch, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar. An ecumenical meeting and prayer for the martyrs next to St. Mark's Cathedral, where three months ago a bomb attack took place. Meetings with Catholics. The press broke the news, but without comment. The silence of the Salafis.

     



    18/03/2017 13:21:00 EGYPT - VATICAN
    Egyptian Church "happy": the Pope will be in Egypt on April 28 and 29

    The official news from the Vatican press office. The pressing invitation of President Al Sisi, the Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar mosque. Fr. Rafic Greiche: He comes to comfort the Christians of the East and support them in living together with Muslims. But also to honor Christian martyrs.





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