(AINA) — Two Copts were killed this afternoon in the village of Bahgourah, a suburb of Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt, after a Muslim racketeer opened fire on them for refusing to pay him extortion money. Three days ago Ahmed Saber had asked from the Coptic building contractor Moawad Asaad for a considerable sum of money. This afternoon Saber drove to Moawad’s home to collect the money, but Moawad refused to go to his car to speak to him for fear of being kidnapped. Four men came out of the car with machine guns and shot Moawad and his 26-year-old son Asaad Moawad, an engineer. Both were killed instantly.
Bishop Kyrollos of Nag Hammadi said that Ahmed Saber, who is known to the police, has been extorting money from the Coptic community and kidnapping their children for ransom since November last year. “Reports were filed with the police about all incidents. I don’t know why the police have not arrested him,” said the Bishop.
Presently over 4000 Copts are staging a sit-in in front of Nag Hammadi police headquarters until Ahmed Saber and his accomplices are caught. It was reported that the police have brought in four central security vehicles to manage the crowd of protesters.
Bishop Kyrollos said “I hold security forces and the Muslims of Bahgourah fully responsible for terrorizing the Copts living there.” He called on the authorities in Cairo and the interior minister to provide protection for the Copts in the Nag Hammadi area, “who are continuously being subjected to terror and kidnapping.”
By Mary Abdelmassih