Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria has mourned a man and his son who were killed by a police officer near a church in Al-Minya last week. On Saturday, the prosecution ordered the detention of the officer for four days pending investigations into the killing.
The victims, Emad Kamal Sadeq aged 49 and David aged 21, were shot dead last Wednesday by a police officer called Rabea Mustafa Khalifa who served as a guard for the church. The incident occurred after a clash erupted between them, according to a statement from the Diocese of Al-Minya and Abu Qurqas.
The statement said that the two victims were doing their job in removing the ruins of a demolished house near a church in Al-Minya, adding that Khalifa shot both over what the church described as a “dispute” between them.
On Friday, Pope Tawadros II said that the church is waiting for the state authorities to take the necessary procedures to hold those responsible for “the tragic incident” accountable.
The pope added that poverty and extremism create a fertile environment for terrorism, calling on the government to take steps towards the development of education and culture in Al-Minya.
Egyptian Christians have been the main targets of several terrorist attacks inside the country, whether individually or more frequently in groups, with their houses and worshipping places attacked.
In the recent years, several churches were bombed, leaving dozens killed. The most recent deadly attacks took place at two churches on Palm Sunday in 2017, resulting in the death of at least 45 people, and more than 100 injuries.
Earlier in November this year, seven Christians were killed and 19 were injured in a terrorist attack on a bus near the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor, in Al-Minya as well.