Egypt police arrest Christmas murder suspects
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Last Updated: Friday, January 08, 2010, 20:56
Luxor (Egypt): Police arrested on Friday three men suspected of carrying out a Christmas Eve drive-by shooting in southern Egypt that killed six Christians, a security official said.

Police discovered the car used in the attack and then surrounded farm fields where the suspects were believed to be hiding late yesterday, before taking them into custody the next day, the official added on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press.

The three men are all known to have criminal records, according to the state media.

Three gunmen opened fire on a crowd of worshippers leaving a church in the town of Naga Hamadi, 64 kilometres north of the famed ruins of Luxor on Wednesday, the day before Egypt's orthodox Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas.

A Muslim guard was also killed, and nine others wounded, including three in serious condition.

Thousands of Christians in Naga Hamadi went on a rampage yesterday protesting the attack and perceived discrimination against their community. They clashed with police and smashed ambulance and shop windows.

Today, though officials reported that calm had been restored amid a massive security presence.

Egyptian Prosecutor General Abdel-Maguid Mahmoud arrived today to take charge of investigations into the attack and there was also a major meeting of security heads to ensure that violence does not erupt anew, especially following weekly Friday prayers.


First Published: Friday, January 08, 2010, 20:56

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