Egypt demands rapid investigation into Benghazi church attack

The Foreign Ministry issued a formal condemnation of the attack on an Egyptian Coptic Church in Libya’s Benghazi on Thursday.

The ministry said it was in communication with the Libyan authorities, and had advised the Egyptian ambassador to Tripoli and the consul-general in Benghazi to also follow up on the case on the ground. The ministry demanded immediate investigations into the incident and swift measures be taken to bring the perpetrators to justice.

This is the second time the Egyptian Church in Benghazi was attacked, and the third time an Egyptian church in Libya was attacked in recent months. A church in Misrata was attacked in December, killing two and injuring dozens.

The Egyptian consulate adviser in Benghazi Mohamed Kamel said the attack caused some damage to the building but that the church pastor was not harmed, according to a Libyan news agency.

The official spokesperson for the Benghazi security department said all measures were being taken to reveal the circumstances of the attack.

Earlier in March, Libyan authorities arrested about 50 Egyptian Copts in the Benghazi on charges of proselytizing and illegally entering the country.

There are estimated to be more than 300,000 Copts in Libya.

Edited translation from DPA

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