Naga Hammadi Bishop urges Attorney General to investigate Abu Tesht case

Bishop for Naga Hammadi Diocese Kirollos has called for the Attorney General office to further investigate Tuesday’s sectarian clashes when Muslims torched 10 Christian homes in the southern town of Abu Tesht because they were enraged by a rumor that a Coptic Christian man and a Muslim girl were dating.

In a statement circulated on the internet, Bishop Kirollos said that the head of Abu Tesht Prosecution Office has inspected the places that were robbed but declined to hear the testimonies of the people who could have given information about the perpetrators of the incident.

He added that this was intended to have the case closed with the culprit unknown.

Father Kirollos said that he knows the names of the perpetrators of these incidents as well as those who incited them.  

The police have arrested a number of suspects and have also taken the Muslim girl and the Christian man into custody.  

In January, in a drive-by shooting, gunmen fired at Christians in Naga Hammadi as they were coming out of church after a service, leaving six dead and nine injured.

According to local sources, the gunmen were trying to target Bishop Kirollos of the Naga Hammadi diocese, because he publicly defended Coptic Christians in November after a Muslim riot.

The Muslim riot, which occurred in November 2009, was sparked by claims that a Christian man had raped a Muslim girl.  

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