A Muslim mob attacked the homes of Christians in a village in Minya, located about 240 km south of Cairo, on Thursday and burned three houses.
The attack left eight people injured.
According to the International Christian Concern, the mob stormed the village of Kom El-Loufy in Minya just after Christians finished holding a prayer service in someone’s home. Witnesses said the attackers came while many of them were starting to walk home.
“At about 10 a.m., after the worship ended, we started on our way to our homes. Then a mob of Muslims began to attack us and our homes,” one witness recounted, the ICC reported.
The witness said the mob threw stones at their homes and set three of the houses on fire. Two women were injured: one of them was left with a broken arm while the other sustained a broken leg. Additionally, six men were also injured in the chaos.
The attacks were carried out even as the country is still under a state of calamity as declared by Egyptian Pres. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
El-Sisi declared a state of calamity after the bombing of two churches, St. George’s Coptic Church and St. Mark’s Coptic Church, on Palm Sunday. The bombings claimed the lives of more than 40 people and injured more than a hundred. Terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.
ICC regional manager William Stark condemned the recent attacks in Minya.
“The attacks on Egypt’s Christian community continue despite the state of emergency declared by the central government,” Stark said. “Yesterday, an entire community of Christians was attacked while returning home from a prayer service.”
Stark pointed out a “most disturbing” detail – that the said attack happened while local security forces looked on, “and still none of the attackers of have been arrested.”
As it turned out, this was not the first time something like this happened. Last year, the homes of four Christian brothers were “looted and burned by radical Muslims” because of rumors that one of the brothers was going to construct a church in the village. The truth was that he was only rebuilding an old house, ICC reported.
One witness said that while the brothers’ homes were being burned, there were “eight big cars from the central security” and 15 police vehicles in the area, yet the authorities did nothing to stop the attackers nor reprimand anybody involved.
In another village in Minya, seven homes of Christians were looted and burned last year and stripped a grandmother naked because of rumors that her son was having an affair with a Muslim woman.
“Egypt must do more to protect its Christian community or else attacks like this and the bombings we witnessed last Sunday will continue,” Stark said.