Another Muslim attack on Egyptian Coptic monastery
The peaceful fourth century monastery of Deir Abu-Fana (St Epiphanius) was the target of an atrocious attack by a group of some 70 Arabs’, as tribal communities that live in the desert are called, armed with automatic weapons, on Saturday 31 May. At 5:00pm the attack started at the farmlands surrounding the monastery buildings. The plants and fields were destroyed, and the monks and workers assaulted. The gas-fired irrigation pumps were broken and the gas used to torch the monastery buildings and cells. The attack converged on the central compound; three cells were burnt and the mushroom produce building destroyed, as well as a tractor owned by the monastery. The tractor is a major means of transport for the monks among the sand dunes.
The attackers set the Church of the Pope Kyrillos on fire, destroyed the altar, tore and torched the bibles and icons, and ruined the wire fence recently built to protect the monastery.
Father Bakhoum, 35, was shot in the shoulder and leg, Father Fini was injured in the arm, and the two cadets Brother Sawiris, 30, and Brother Michael, 25, were injured in their arms and legs. One of the attackers, Khalil Ibrahim Mohamed, 39, was killed.
When they finally left, the attackers abducted three monks, Fathers Youa’nnis, Maximous, and Andrawes, as well as Ibrahim Taqqi who is the brother of one of the monks and was incidentally visiting the monastery at the time. (Read it all).