Muslims, Christians join forces to fight Egyptian church fire

In this Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 file photo, a policeman stands guard in front of Mar Mina church after a deadly attack claimed by the Islamic State group, in Helwan, Cairo, Egypt. (AP)
Updated 27 April 2019

Muslims, Christians join forces to fight Egyptian church fire

  • Despite its unique architectural value, the landmark church of Mar Girgis was demolished a few months ago following a demolition order

ABU QURQAS, Egypt: Muslim and Christian worshippers in an Egyptian city turned firefighters to tackle a blaze at the site of a recently demolished church.
Local residents, who spotted smoke billowing from a camp in the grounds of the Coptic Orthodox church of Mar Girgis (St. George) in Abu Qurqas, Minya province, raced to the scene and worked together to extinguish flames.
By the time fire crews arrived the blaze had been put out. There were no casualties and officials are investigating the cause.

Landmark church
In a statement, the Coptic Orthodox Church said the fire broke out at 4 a.m. and all the camp’s contents were destroyed.
Despite its unique architectural value, the landmark church of Mar Girgis was demolished a few months ago following a demolition order.
Archaeologist Dr. Monica Hanna said the church had contained valuable oil paintings and other historical features.


Militant group says cease-fire reached to fighting in Gaza

Updated 42 min 34 sec ago

Militant group says cease-fire reached to fighting in Gaza

  • Spokesman Musab Al-Berim says the Egyptian-brokered deal went into effect at 5:30 a.m. Thursday
  • The fighting broke out early Tuesday after Israel killed a senior commander of the militant group

GAZA: A militant group says a cease-fire has been reached to end two days of heavy fighting with Israel.

Spokesman Musab Al-Berim says the Egyptian-brokered deal went into effect at 5:30 a.m. (0330 GMT) Thursday.

He says the cease-fire was based on a list of demands presented by his group late Wednesday, including a halt to Israeli targeted killings of the group’s leaders.

Israel will follow suit if Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip stop cross-border attacks, an Israeli official said on Thursday, denying that Israel had changed open-fire policy as demanded by the militant group for a truce.

“Quiet will be answered with quiet,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz told Army Radio. “The State of Israel will not hesitate to strike at those who try to harm it, from the Gaza Strip or from anywhere else.”

The fighting broke out early Tuesday after Israel killed a senior commander of the militant group.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.