Egypt (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that four unidentified masked men shot down a young Coptic man in the Egyptian city of Dabaa, Matrouh Governorate. The victim, Rani Raafat, was killed instantly from multiple gunshot wounds while at work this week. The assailants then burned Raafat’s car and fled.
Egyptian media also reported that a second person, Sherif Rashad, sustained a gunshot wound and was transferred to a hospital in Alexandria for treatment. Raafat Nour, the father of the victim, said, “I was at home in Dabaa, and a phone call came to my son to open the shop to receive goods for agricultural supplies in a project he works in the afternoon. I later received a phone call of the death of my son. When I went to the store, I found him dead and lying on the ground, overwhelmed in own his blood.”
Raafat worked in the veterinary medicine trade and had no known enemies. His relatives suggested sectarian-religious motives in the incident and that the perpetrators of the attack were extremist elements, according to Al Arabiya.
The father of the deceased added, “My son had a problem in December 2021, and was beaten with a shotgun. The accused [in that matter] was arrested and imprisoned. We sat with his family, and they promised us that the matter would be over, and my son was transferred from El Dabaa High School to a school in Burj Al Arab. He has now been attacked by unknown masked persons who escaped.” He added, “I only want to apprehend the perpetrators and hold them accountable, and to take the right of my son through the judiciary.”
Earlier this month, the Coptic Christian community lost Father Arsanious Wadid after Nehru Abdel Moneim Tawfiq, previously an unidentified assailant, stabbed him several times. Tawfiq was previously a known member of extremist groups.
Earlier this week, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that Egypt be placed on the State Department’s Special Watchlist for religious freedom
ICC’s president, Jeff King, stated, “We are saddened to hear the news of yet another violent incident targeting an Egyptian Christian, and are concerned that we have seen a second major incident in just a few weeks. We are watching Egypt closely to see if these are warning signs of a more challenging future for Egyptian Christians. Our prayers are with the victim’s family and we urge the authorities to conduct a transparent investigation which affirms due process of law.”
This article originally appeared here.