Muslim Brotherhood denies links to church attacks

The Muslim Brotherhood strongly criticised media reports that the group was responsible for the shooting at the Virgin Mary Church in Al-Warraq on Sunday.

The Brotherhood said it was “surprised” by claims in the media and newspapers that the shooting was a Muslim Brotherhood plot seeking to spread terror and chaos, adding that the Brotherhood’s approach was “a peaceful Islamic approach that refuses and criminalises the shedding of one drop of blood,” in a Friday statement.

The Brotherhood also claimed that three of its members had been injured in the attack on the wedding, citing a priest from the Virgin Mary Church.

The Muslim Brotherhood decried the “lying and slander” facing the group.

Sunday’s church shooting occurred during a Coptic Orthodox wedding in the Giza neighbourhood of Al-Warraq. Thursday saw the fifth death resulting from the attack with the passing of 17-year-old Mohamed Ibrahim Ali at the Nasser Institute after sustaining three gunshot wounds. Ali was the third minor to die as a result of the attack.

During his weekly sermon on Thursday, Pope Tawadros II said the ‘door of repentence is still open” for the attackers, and thanked interim President Adly Mansour, Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi, Minister of Defence Abel Fattah Al-Sisi, Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and former Chief of Staff Sami Annan for their condolences in the aftermath of the attack.

Minister of Social Solidarity Ahmed El-Boraei visited the church after the shooting and pledged EGP 5,000 to the families of those who had died and EGP 1,000 to the injured.

Investigations into the shooting are still ongoing and the identities of the perpetrators, alleged to have opened fire after approaching the church on a motorcycle, have yet to be announced.