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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

71-year-old Coptic Christian shot dead on train in Upper Egypt

An unidentified gunman on Tuesday boarded a northbound train in Upper Egypt and opened fire on passengers, killing one Christian man and injuring five others, security and medical officials said.
The motive for the shooting was not immediately known, although the incident comes less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 23 Christians and wounded scores of others outside a church in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, some 250 kilometers north of the capital Cairo.
Officials said the gunman had boarded the Cairo-bound train at the town of Samalout in Egypt's Minya province, roughly 260 km south of Cairo.
Police arrested the gunman as he attempted to flee the scene, according to security officials.
Egypt's state news agency has confirmed the incident, reporting that police were currently questioning the assailant.
A security source told Al-Masry Al-Youm that police had identified the victim as Fathy Ghattas, 71, from Cairo's middle-class Zeitoun neighborhood.
Sources said the assailant had checked passengers for the green cross traditionally tattooed on the wrists of Coptic Christians in Egypt. After identifying several Copts, the culprit killed one of them and injured five others.
The same sources said that investigators were looking into the possibility that the assailant was a policeman, but this remains unconfirmed.

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