First Published: 2008-05-28

Four Copts killed in Cairo gangland style

Two men on motorbike enter jewellery shop in Egyptian capital's Zeitoun district, shoot dead owner, staff.


Middle East Online

Nothing stolen from the shop

CAIRO - Two men in wigs and sunglasses shot dead four Coptic Christians jewellery shop workers in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday in an apparent gangland-style killing, a security official and witnesses said.

The shooting happened at around 12:30 pm (0930 GMT) in the mixed Christian-Muslim district of Zeitoun in northeast Cairo, the official said, adding that the attackers escaped without stealing anything from the shop.

Eyewitnesses said that the men arrived at the shop on a motorbike, walked in and shot dead the shop's owner and three employees before driving away, in a rare act of brazen bloodshed in the capital.

"Preliminary investigations show that the motivation behind the attack could have been revenge," the official said, adding that the owner had frequent disputes with local residents.

The official had initially said the killings were the result of a drive-by shooting.

Police, who swiftly cordoned off the area, found 15 revolver shell casings at the scene, the official said.

Cairo's Zeitoun district is a famed pilgrimage site where, according to witness accounts, the Virgin Mary appeared above the Church of Saint Mary over a period of several years in the late 1960s.

The apparitions were seen by millions including Copts, Muslims, Jews and atheists.

Egypt's Copts - the largest Christian community in the Middle East - account for an estimated six to 10 percent of the country's 76 million inhabitants and complain of systematic discrimination and harassment.

Tensions often run high between Egypt's Muslim and Christian communities in an increasingly religious society dominated by Sunni Muslims.


Top US general visits airbase in fight for Mosul

No Russian air strikes on Aleppo in 7 days

Thousands of Yemenis await lifting of Coalition blockade

Iran calls for more Asian investment

Egypt rolls out austerity programme

25 travelling on inflatable dinghy found dead in Mediterannean

Villages reclaimed, but return still distant for Iraqi Christians

Turkey says will clear Kurdish fighters from Manbij

Russia cancels warship fuel stop after pressure on Spain to refuse permission

US, UK expect Raqa offensive within weeks

Sudan's Bashir to appoint PM for first time since coup

Israel army says soldier wounded by gunfire on Lebanese border

Students among 22 dead as raids hit Syria school

Israel charges 13 Jews with celebrating murder of Palestinians

Revolutionary Guards commander says Iranian firms should lead oil projects

Egyptian officer accidentally shoots dead Israeli teen

IS members ‘shave beards’ as Iraqi forces approach Mosul

US praises Qatar moves to deny jihadists funds

Clashes between protesters, police in Diyarbakir after Turkey arrests mayors

Saudi financial position strong despite oil prices says minister

Iran develops 'suicide drone'

UN envoy to Yemen presents peace proposal to Huthis

Turkey says US must extradite Gulen to avoid damaging ties

Mosul survivors recount fleeing IS 'caliphate'

Report finds Israeli forces could have avoided killings

NATO flies first surveillance mission backing anti-IS coalition

Russian FM says Mosul offensive equivalent to Moscow's Aleppo bombing

Saudi Arabia denies it imposed Yemen blockade

Syria Kurds say Turkey wants to prevent Raqa recapture

Anger at Israel national theatre show in occupied West Bank

UN receives reports of dozens of IS atrocities near Mosul

Hundreds protest against UN 'complicity' in rebel-held Yemen capital

Turkey FM says ground operation in Iraq a possibility

Iraqi forces retake town from IS

Iran nuclear negotiator cleared of spying charges

Al-Shabaab in suicide bomb attack on AU base in Somalia

Gunmen kill two policemen in eastern Saudi Arabia

Iraqi paramilitary to block IS from fleeing Mosul for Syria

Two imams arrested in Ibiza over 'Islamic State support'

US general raises Yemen concerns with Saudi officials

Iraqi forces advancing on Mosul face stiff resistance

At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey explosion

French FM annoys Turkey by contrasting states of emergency

UN planning for 150,000 displaced by Mosul battle

UAE jails Sudanese man for planning attacks on immigrants