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Scenes Of Grief And Anger As Wedding Turns To Funerals After Gunmen Attack Church In Egypt

Thousands of Egyptians turned out to mourn four family members killed in what appears to be Egypt’s latest sectarian attack.

1. It was a moment of celebration that quickly turned to grief.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

2. Four members of the same family were gunned down over the weekend as they celebrated a wedding in one of Cairo’s most well-known Coptic churches.

3. On Monday, thousands of Egyptians turned out for the funeral of the two girls, aged 8 and 12; their cousin; and their mother.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

4. Family members mourned the dead, as well as the 18 others wounded.

5. Amid the heartbreaking scenes of a family torn apart in the latest sectarian attack to hit Egypt was anger that more is not being done to protect the country’s Christian community.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters
Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

7. Attacks on Egypt’s Christian community have been on the rise since the Muslim Brotherhood was swept out of office by the military three months ago.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

In a sign of how deeply divided Egypt has become, officials quickly traded barbs over who was to blame.

Egypt’s Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi condemned the attack, calling it a “despicable criminal act,” and said security forces were searching for the assailants.

Major Gen. Hani Abdel Latif, spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, denied on Monday that the attack was sectarian in nature. He said it was likely carried out by militant Islamist groups.

The Muslim Brotherhood meanwhile blamed Egypt’s “military backed authority,” criticizing in sharp language the lack of security for Christians on their English website.

9. Many, however, noted that Arabic-language statements didn’t carry the same condemnation of the attack.

The vast majority of #Egypt Islamist accounts aren't gloating over #Warraq. Most are just ignoring it completely.

— iyad_elbaghdadi (@Iyad El-Baghdadi)

10. At the funeral there was a noticeable police presence. Christians often complain that the state, despite its rhetoric, does not come to their protection.

About a half-dozen conscripts now outside the Imbaba church where gunmen fired on a wedding last night.

— erinmcunningham (@Erin Cunningham)

11. Egyptian reactions on Twitter ranged from the enraged to the unfazed.

It is not simply the Christian community that is threatened, it is the very concept of "community" in #Egypt that is threatened. #Warraq

— tekaldas (@Timothy E Kaldas)

#Egypt's #SectarianState has not been addressed in any way since #Mubarak's fall.

— weskandar (@Wael Eskandar)

13. After the funeral, family members of the murdered gathered outside the church.

The protest in front of the Warraq church now

— MariamKirollos (@MK مريم)

14. The Maspero Youth Coalition called for the resignation of the interior minister and demonstrations next Tuesday. Under Egypt’s proposed new protest law, many gatherings like these would become illegal.

Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters

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BuzzFeed World Reporter
Contact Miriam Berger at miriam.berger+done@buzzfeed.com
Sheera Frenkel is a Middle East correspondent for BuzzFeed News.
Contact Sheera Frenkel at Sheera.Frenkel@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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