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.

 

Aid group warns of catastrophe in the making in Fallujah

Lieberman sworn in as Israel defence minister

Bahrain appeal court ramps up jail sentence against Sheikh Ali Salman

Recovery in oil price eases pressure on OPEC

EU most senior lawyer backs work headscarf ban

Bahrain frees opposition activist, toddler son

EU warns migrants could be used as drug mules

IS presses assault in Aleppo province

Libya government allies capture coastal town from ISIS

New Yemen clashes kill at least 38 people in 24 hours

Ex-Miss Turkey sentenced 'for insulting Erdogan'

Death sentences for attack on Bahrain police upheld

Istanbul locked down on anniversary of Gezi Park demos

UN envoy calls for Libya unity to counter ISIS

Egypt journalist union leaders to face trial

Germany risks Turkey ties with Armenian 'genocide' vote

Kurd-led fighters seize more ground from ISIS in Syria

Iraq forces battle defiant IS outside Fallujah

Russian warplanes hit hospital, homes in Syria's Idlib

Saudi intercepts ballistic missile from Yemen

Hamas executes three men for murder in Gaza Strip

Egypt probes teenage girl's death during female circumcision operation

Jordan heads into elections by fall after parliament dissolution

Turkey to abandon migrant deal if no visa-free travel

Egypt court sentences Brotherhood leader to life in prison

Kuwait jails members of ruling family for insulting Emir

Tunisia blames ‘terrorist elements’ for deadly landmine blast

Turkey offers to join forces for Syria operation -- without Kurds

Sanctions gone, Iran drums up business with West

Starving Iraqis risk all to flee crumbling rule of ISIS

Iraq forces enter ISIS-held Fallujah from three directions

Chief negotiator of Syria opposition quits over failed talks

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of sowing ‘sedition’ in Iraq

Israel police send Netanyahu spending file to prosecutors

Bahrain court upholds life terms for five 'spies'

Investigators need 12 days to recover EgyptAir black boxes

Iraq troops prepare for final assault on ISIS-held Fallujah

Iraq Kurdish forces launch offensive east of Mosul

Shipwrecks in Mediterranean claim up to 700 lives in one week

Iran blames Saudi Arabia for Hajj impasse

ISIS offensive triggers mass displacement in northern Syria

Without clear roadmap, Libya unity government fails to bring change

Iran moderate conservative retains parliament speakership

Iran delegation leaves Saudi Arabia without Hajj deal

Hundreds of civilians flee Fallujah area in Iraq