190 to be tried by military for Imbaba violence, Salafi leader blames thugs

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has referred 190 of those arrested after Saturday's sectarian clashes in Imbaba, northwest Cairo, for military trials.

Salafi Muslims and Christians engaged in a gunfight following rumors that an alleged female convert to Islam was being held in a church. Twelve were reportedly killed, and 186 wounded.

The SCAF, which is ruling Egypt during the current interim phase, said on its official Facebook page on Sunday that a panel has been formed to assess the damage. It stressed that attempts to harm places of worship will not be tolerated, and the maximum punishments will be imposed.

It also warned of dangers currently threatening Egypt. It urged all segments of Egyptian society to unite against attempts to sow sedition. Last week, SCAF’s Facebook page cited websites that it said are run by foreign entities fueling sectarian divides in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Safwat Hegazi, a Salafi leader, said “Those who initiated attacks on the Saint Mina church in Imbaba are thugs and not Muslims.”

Hegazi assured on Sunday that several Imbaba youth who witnessed the violence told him that “people who were there are not from the region but came by motorcycles, some of them had beards, wielding arms. They were thugs. They attacked the church and threw a bomb inside it.”

“Everyone, Muslims and Copts, agreed they were not Muslims but thugs, taking their outfits and style into consideration,” he added.

Hegazi also denied that after the clashes Copts protested outside the US embassy, calling for foreign protection. He said that when he heard that news, he went to the embassy but found no one at all.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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