2 cops guarding Coptic church gunned down

Updated 06 January 2015
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2 cops guarding Coptic church gunned down

CAIRO: Gunmen opened fire and killed two policemen guarding a Coptic church south of Cairo early on Tuesday, security officials said as the nation’s minority Coptic Christians prepared to mark Orthodox Christmas Eve.
The attack took place in the provincial capital of Minya, about 220 km south of Cairo. The city is home to the nation’s largest Coptic community and the members of the Orthodox minority observe Christmas according to the old, Julian calendar.
Police cordoned off the area shortly after the attack and were searching for the perpetrators, said the security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.
Another policeman was killed Tuesday while attempting to dismantle an improvised explosive device planted at a gas station in Giza, west of Cairo. Three gas station workers were also injured in the blast, security officials said.
A video posted on privately run news site Youm Al-Sabaa showed the policeman handling the explosive device wearing protective gear, when the device explodes, sending him flying.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack.
Egypt has beefed up security around Coptic churches ahead of the Orthodox Christmas. Christians account for some 10 percent of the nation’s 90 million people and have long complained of discrimination by the nation’s Muslim majority.
Egypt’s Christian minority has also complained of a rise in kidnappings, armed robberies and assaults over the past three years, after the country was plunged into turmoil by the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.


Fresh protests in Iraq as medics raise death toll to 11

Updated 22 July 2018
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Fresh protests in Iraq as medics raise death toll to 11

  • Security forces remained deployed around the capital Baghdad
  • Overall medical sources put the death toll in the unrest at 11 people

BAGHDAD: Fresh protests hit southern Iraq Sunday as medical sources put at 11 the number of demonstrators killed in two weeks of unrest sparked by ire over corruption and lack of public services.
Security forces remained deployed around the capital Baghdad after struggling Friday to disperse crowds of angry protesters who took to the streets.
Demonstrations have roiled swathes of southern and central Iraq since erupting in the oil-rich port city of Basra on July 8, when security forces opened fire killing one person.
Overall medical sources put the death toll in the unrest at 11 people, three in each of the cities Basra, Samawah and Najaf, and one in both the cities of Diwaniyah and Karbala.
Most of them were killed by gunfire from unidentified assailants, while one person suffocated to death on tear gas used to disperse the demonstrators.
Protesters on Sunday took to the streets in the cities of Samawah and Nasiriyah, chanting “no to corruption,” a scourge Iraqis say has long blighted their country.
Since the start of the demonstrations those involved have focused their anger on the political establishment, with government buildings and party offices being sacked or set ablaze.
The Iraqi authorities have scrambled to halt the unrest and have blocked social media sites online to try to prevent the spread of protests.
Iraq is in a state of political limbo with Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi overseeing a caretaker government as wrangling to form a new government drags on after elections in May.
A coalition headed by populist cleric Moqtada Sadr topped the polls, campaigning on an anti-graft ticket to claim the most seats in parliament.