- (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)
Islamists have demolished and looted the archaeological monastery of Virgin Mary and Anba Abraam in the Delga village, Deir Mawas, Minya in southern Egypt and said they would turn the monastery into a mosque for prayers on Friday.
Bishop Aghabious of Deir Mawas has sent a call to national and international authorities to request help to save what is remaining of the monastery, which dates back to the fifth century AD.
The bishop said the militants looted most of the valuables and announced they would be converting the monastery into a mosque for Friday prayers.
Fr. Silwanis Lotfi, priest of the church of Virgin Mary and Anba Abraam in Delga village, said that after the church was set on fire extremists demolished the ancient church located inside the monastery after no response was given from security forces.
He said Copts were being besieged inside some of their neighbors' homes because their homes were burned and some of them fled from the village following terrorist attacks against them.
Fr. Ayoub Saleh, priest of St. George Coptic Catholic Church in Delga, said: "Militants surrounded the ancient church, demolished it and looted the contents. They smashed the icons and the marble inside."
He highlighted that the ongoing attacks were being carried out with no sign of security forces offering any aid.