By Nourhan Dakroury
A number of churches were attacked on Wednesday in governorates around the country following the forcible dispersal of sit-ins in Rabaa Al-Adaweya in Cairo and Al-Nahda Square in Giza.
Two churches in the Fayoum village of Al-Nazla were set on fire, in addition to the local Christian Friendship club, according to Mokhtar El-Sawah, head of the office of operations in the Fayoum Governorate.
El-Sawah said police and military forces were trying to contain the situation.
Two churches were also set ablaze in the city of Minya, according to Basem Beshay, media officer of the local Al-Dostour Party.
“Mary Mina Church and its services building were set on fire,” Beshay said, adding: “the Third Apostolic Church, its medical centre and the house of the priest were set on fire by protesters.”
He said there was a series of arson attacks against Christian-owned stores, including a pharmacy and an interior design store, in Minya.
A third church was robbed and then set ablaze in Delga in the city of Deir Mawas, he said.
He said Delga is the nearest village to the Minya desert road, and is known for housing Jihadist groups: “There have been marches led by pro-Morsi protesters in which they threatened Christians in case the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in were dispersed.”
In Bani Suef, protesters gathered outside of the Mary Girgis Church in Al-Wasta City, but were prevented from assaulting it by residents, said Ehab Khater, 6 April Youth Movement coordinator in Bani Suef.
“Al-Wasta has seen a sectarian strife lately and five days ago a Christian organisation was torched,” said Khater.
Khater said pro-Morsi protesters, who were sitting-in at Al-Modoreya Square in Bani Suef rallied people to march after the dispersal of the sit-ins in Cairo and Giza on Wednesday.
He said they burned the governorate building, the city council building and four police cars.
Two police cars were also set on fire in Assiut, in addition to the judges club and multiple stores, according to the Assiut Governorate Media Centre.
The media centre stated that protesters were blocking main roads in the city as well as the Assiut Agricultural Road, adding that police forces were firing tear gas at them to push them back.
Protesters also set the Franciscan School and surrounding stores in Suez on fire, reported Hassan Ghonema, the Daily News Egypt reporter in Suez, adding that they were torching cars on the streets as they marched.
According to the Department of Health in Suez, two people died in Suez after being shot, in addition to 53 people who were injured and taken to the Suez General Hospital.