News of an Islamist massacre of two Christian Coptic families has emerged from Upper Egypt with the return of Internet connections to the country, after a one-week Internet blackout imposed by the troubled regime. The massacre, not the first in Egypt in recent weeks, took place on Sunday afternoon (January 30) at the village of Sharona near Maghagha, in Minya province, and is being reported by AINA, the Assyrian International News Agency.
According to the report, the Islamist murderers, aided by Muslim neighbors of the Copts, stormed the homes of the families, gaining access to the houses' roofs from the roofs of the families' Muslim neighbors. They killed eleven, including children, and seriously injured four more people.
Anba Agathon, Bishop of Maghagha, told Coptic activist Dr. Mona Roman in a televised interview on Al-Karma TV that the killers are neighbors of the Copts, who "seized the opportunity of the mayhem prevailing in Egypt and the absence of police protection to slaughter the Copts."
The bishop said that he had visited the injured Copts at Maghagha General Hospital and that they informed him that they recognized the main attackers, who come from the same village, Sharona.
"The two families were staying in their homes with their doors locked when suddenly the Islamists descended on them," said Bishop Agathon, "killing eleven and leaving for dead four other family members. In addition, they looted everything that was in the two Coptic houses, including money, furniture and electrical equipment. They also looted livestock and grain."
One group of masked assailants infiltrated the home of Copt Joseph Waheeb Massoud and killed him, his wife Samah, their 15-year old daughter Christine and 8-year-old son Fady Youssef. Another group simultaneously accessed the house of Copt Saleeb Ayad Mayez and shot him dead, along with his wife Zakia, their 4-year-old son Joseph and 3-year-old daughter Justina, Saleeb's 23-year-old sister Amgad, his mother Zakia and a woman named Saniora Fahim.
"The massacre has nothing to do with the mayhem in Egypt," the bishop said, "but the murderers took advantage of the lack of police protection and thought they could commit their crime and no one would notice."
"Why have those Islamists chosen those two Coptic families and not Muslim ones to slaughter and rob? I believe it is because they know that with Copts they can literally get away with murder," accused Coptic activist Dr. Hanna Hanna.