Police ‘ran away’ during Egypt church shooting

Egypt – The Coptic community has accused security forces of running away as gunmen attacked a church on October 20.

According to an eyewitness who was in an office overlooking the main entrance to the Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo, when a gunman on a motorcycle began firing into a group attending a wedding at the church, he saw the officers assigned to protect the church running up a side street away from the scene. His testimony has prompted questions about the new regime’s commitment to protecting the minority Christian community in Egypt, blamed by many supporters of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood administration for its overthrow. The October 20 shooting claimed four lives, including and 8-year-old girl, and resulted in angry calls from Muslim leaders for an end to attacks on Christians. Ahmed al- Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar in Cairo, the seat of learning for Sunni Islam denounced the shooting as “a crime against religion”.