ShareThis Page
World

Masked men nab Christians in Egypt

| Monday, June 16, 2014, 8:45 p.m.

CAIRO — Masked armed men, suspected to be Islamic militants, kidnapped two Coptic Christians in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula in two separate incidents, and clashes between Egyptian security forces and Islamist supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy in the capital left one policeman dead on Monday, officials said.

The abductions occurred as Egypt's designated prime minister, Ibrahim Mahlab, is finalizing a cabinet to swear in since the election of President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, the former defense minister and military chief.

Christians have continued to be targeted by Islamic militants either as retaliation for their support to Sisi or for the sake of hefty ransoms. Coptic organizations have reported dozens of abductions since Morsy's July 3 ouster — most in the south, where large concentrations of Christians are located near strongholds of Islamic groups.

In the northern Sinai — where about 10,000 Copts live — the military has waged an offensive against Islamic militants who have escalated attacks and suicide bombings against police and military since Morsy's removal.

Security and church officials said Monday that in the north Sinai city of el-Arish masked gunmen snatched Wadie Ramses, a prominent surgeon who runs the city's first private-owned hospital, about midnight on Saturday after they opened fire on his vehicle, wounding him in the leg. Hours later, they demanded a ransom of $1.4 million.

Meanwhile, Egypt's top prosecutor ordered the release of an Al-Jazeera journalist who has been on a hunger strike for more than four months to protest his prolonged detention without charges or trial.

A statement from the prosecutor's office said Abdullah Elshamy, 26, and 12 others will be set free, citing “health conditions.” His lawyer said none of the 12 others are journalists.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me