Coptic Christian priest killed in 'hail of bullets' outside Egyptian church
While details remain vague at this stage, it’s reported that Raphael Musa was shot dead while returning from prayers outside El-Arish, according to a spokesman.
#عاجل | المتحدث باسم الكنيسة المصرية: تم اليوم اغتيال القس رؤوفايل موسى بوابل من الرصاص عقب مغادرته كنيسة مار جرجس بسيناء (تصريح للأناضول)— ANADOLU AGENCY (AR) (@aa_arabic) June 30, 2016
Father Paul Halim, a spokesperson for the church, condemned “all terrorist acts which threaten the safety of the nation” but the motive behind the attack and those responsible has yet to be established.
According to reports, one of the more notable terrorist groups in the area is 'Ansar Bait al-Maqdis,' who, in November 2014, swore allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Muslim mob strips, beats & drags elderly woman through streets, torches Christian homes in Egypt https://t.co/M9OTyvbYHl— RT (@RT_com) May 27, 2016
Egypt’s Coptic Christian community has been heavily targeted since the Arab Spring in 2011 and by this year the government had closed 50 churches for “security reasons”.
Last year in Libya, 21 Egyptian Copts were beheaded by Islamic State leading to the #CopticLivesMatter hashtag to be launched on twitter.