Church attack suspect sent to mental hospital

Daily Star Egypt Staff
2 Min Read

CAIRO: Egypt has committed to a mental hospital a man accused of killing a Christian worshipper in a knife attack on churchgoers in Alexandria that sparked sectarian clashes in April, a judicial source said on Thursday. Egypt s prosecutor-general ordered Mahmoud Hussein, 25, committed after a medical evaluation and without trial, the source said. The duration of his incarceration was not specified. Hussein is accused of killing a Coptic Christian man and wounding five other Christians in knife attacks at two churches in the coastal city of Alexandria in April. The stabbings sparked three days of Christian-Muslim clashes on Egypt s northern coast in which police forces attempted to disperse crowds with teargas and batons. One man, a Muslim, was killed in the violence. Since the arrest, Egyptian authorities have said that Hussein was mentally ill. Many Christians expressed doubt about the official version, accusing authorities of covering up evidence of a larger, more organized attack on Christians. Coptic Christians comprise between 5 and 10 percent of Egypt s 73 million people, most of whom are Sunni Muslims. Relations between the two communities are usually peaceful, but there are sporadic outbreaks of violence. In 1999, 22 people were killed in communal strife in southern Egypt. Reuters

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