Coptic priest killed in stabbing incident in Cairo outskirts

Al-Masry Al-Youm

A Coptic priest affiliated with a church in Upper Egypt’s governorate of Beni Suef was  stabbed by a man on Thursday in Cairo’s northeastern suburb of El–Marg, state-run newspaper of Akhbar Al Youm reported.

The priest, Samaan Shehta, was in Cairo when a young unemployed man blocked the way in front of his vehicle and asked him to step down from it. He then hit the priest’s head with cleaver and ran away, a local journalist told Egypt Independent on condition of anonymity.

“It is believed that it is a hate crime that has been executed by an extremist affiliated to IS or Salafism,” he explained. The Egyptian Coptic Church released a statement asserting that the death of priest Samaan Shehta occurred near El-salam city while he was with another priest, Benjamin Moftah, who was also assaulted. The statement did not provide further details about the second priest.

Al-Masry Al-Youm attempted to contact the Coptic church’s official spokesperson multiple times but did not receive a response. Meanwhile, Akhbar Al–Youm said that the perpetrator has been arrested and is currently being investigated to ascertain the motives behind his attack.

Priest Samaan was in Cairo to attend a conference he was invited to at a Coptic church in the Cairo suburb of Dar al-Salam close to El-Marg where the incident took place.