Abducted Coptic child found

Qalyubiya and Sharqiya security authorities freed a Coptic child who was abducted on Sunday from in front of the Father Paula Church in Shubra al-Kheima.

The child, Abanoub, is the son of businessman Ashraf al-Khawaga.

A security source from Qalyubiya Security Department said Sharqiya security authorities arrested five suspects who had weapons in their possession.

Authorities are coordinating efforts to hand over the child to his family.

The prosecution heard the testimony of the church pastor who filed a report with the police after shots were heard outside the church before the child was kidnapped following the Sunday Holy Mass. The child's father did not file a report about the incident reportedly after receiving threats from the kidnappers that they would kill the child if the police intervened.

The prosecution sent bullet cases found at the site of the abduction to the criminal investigations lab for examination. The prosecution is looking for more information on the circumstances surrounding the incident and the owner of the car that was used.

Security sources had claimed that the incident was of a criminal, rather than a sectarian nature, and added that it is not linked to any previous clashes between Muslims and Copts in the area.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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