A Christian community in an Egyptian village was attacked Saturday by a mob of thousands of angry Muslims.
Christian homes and shops in Kobry-el-Sharbat, Alexandria, were broken into and looted before being set ablaze by the vengeful mob. The attack came at the hands of a mob of over 3,000 Muslims, according to the Assyrian International News Agency,
The attack was sparked by a rumor that a Christian man had an intimate photo of a Muslim woman on his cell phone. Mourad Samy Guirgis, the Christian man, surrendered to police for his own protection.
A meeting between Muslims and Christians representatives was supposed to take place later that evening, said Father Boktor Nashad of St. George's Church in el-Nahdah. By 3 p.m., however, the Muslim mob looted the home of Guirgis and burned it to the ground.
They did the same to the home of his family and three of their Christian neighbors. Many Christian-owned shops and businesses were also burned and looted.
"We contacted security forces, but they arrived very, very late," Nashad said. "Maybe because of lack of security, they think that they can do as they please."
He denied that radical Islamists were responsible, only ordinary Muslim villagers. He questioned how they could commit such violence against people who they had lived in peace with for years.
Mariam Ragy, a Christian activist covering the violence in Kobry-el-Sharbat, said that it took the army one hour to bring help to the villagers.
"This happens every time," Ragy said. "They wait outside the village until the Muslims have had enough violence, then they appear."
Witnesses say the attackers were bearded men in white gowns, according to AINA.
"They were Salafists, and some of were from the Muslim Brotherhood," one witness said.
Mina Girguis, from the Maspero Youth Union in Alexandria, said the actions of the Muslim mob were completely unacceptable. He feels the military is behind the violence.
"They are trying to divert the attention from the second revolution which is taking place now," Girguis said.
The fire brigade was prevented from entering the village by the mob, causing many villagers to lose their homes, according to Nashad. After the violence calmed down, over 60 Christian families were ordered to stay indoors and keep their businesses closed. Three people were hospitalized: one Muslims and two Christians.
Nashad said that security forces didn't arrest any members of the mob, they only asked them to return to their homes.