EGYPT: Muslim burns young Coptic Christian man alive

Muslim man sets fire to Coptic Christian man, murders his father and wounds his younger brother, because of a rumor that the young Copt allegedly had a relationship with the Muslim man’s sister.

The events took place in the small village of “Dmas” Meet-Ghamr, after a rumor spread around of a relationship between the 25-year-old Copt Shihata Sabri, and the sister of a Muslim man named Yasser Ahmed Qasim.

Yasser went to Coptic Shehata, holding a gasoline canister, poured it over him and set him on fire, as bystanders looked on in horror. The young Copt threw himself into the adjacent canal to try to put out the flames from his burning body. The fire left burns all over his body, leading to his death.

Following this incident, people in the village rallied and when the 60-years-old Sabri Shehata, father of the Coptic victim arrived, he was attacked by a group of Muslims stabbing him with knives and daggers; one stab penetrated his back to come out of his abdomen below the rib cage, resulting in his death, after being transferred to hospital.

A Coptic witness said that Yasser Ahmed, who is reputed to be a thug, and others have also beaten the Coptic victim’s younger brother, 22-year old Rami Sabri Shehata, causing a deep injury to his head.

The security forces moved into the village of Dmas, which has a population of 60,000 people, including over 1000 Copts, surrounded the victims’ house and deployed extra forces throughout the village.

The offenders were arrested together with the accused Yasser Ahmed Kassem and his friend, as well as the Copt Shehata Sabry who was held in custody in Dmas Hospital. The offenders were charged with deliberate homicide.

A Muslim villager portrayed the incident as an honour killing stressing that it was because of Coptic Shehata Sabri teasing Yasser about a relationship he has with his sister, which prompted him and his friend to pour gasoline all over the Copt before setting him on fire. He denied that this incident will have an impact on the relations between the Muslims and Copts in the village.

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