December 29, 2017: Armed terrorists attacked the Church of Mar Mina and Pope Cyril in Helwan killing 9 and injuring 4, two of whom are in critical condition. When they failed to storm the church because of a lock-down, they went to a store owned by two Coptic brothers Romani and Atef Shaker,
Nermeen Sadiq died in the attack after asking her children to run inside the church.
and killed them both. According to eyewitnesses, there were 3 attackers, one of whom was wearing an explosive belt. The attack occurred at 11 am Friday morning as people were leaving the Church. [Update Dec 30: an eyewitness says it was only one attacker].
Police put all churches in the area in lock-down as they continued to secure surrounding areas. Locking the church doors actually saved the church from the attack and the terrorists were unable to storm it. The Helwan church issued a statement confirming the attack:
بخصوص الاعتداء على كنيسة الشهيد مارمينا ومحل يملكه مسيحي بحلوان
تعرضت كنيسة الشهيد مارمينا بحلوان صباح اليوم لاعتداء إرهابي بإطلاق أعيرة نارية، تجاه الكنيسة، من قبل مجهولين،ما أسفر حتى الآن عن استشهاد شخص من القوة الأمنية المكلفة بتأمين الكنيسة وخمسة من شعب الكنيسة بالاضافة لعدد من المصابين
It should be noted that attacks on churches are now expected for Christmas and the New Year. Continue reading
So much has been going on in Egypt over the past few months, it was difficult to keep up with all the news of the absurd, the attacks and other madness. This post will be a rather brief overview of the main events:
- Egypt is building a fleet of UAV and recently signed a new shipment of long range drone for CH-5. The Egyptian Air Force is already operating Wing Loong & CH-4B, both spotted in Siwa and al-Maliz airbases.
- Mada Masr tracked the flight paths of 2 luxury jets delivered to the Egyptian presidency by the French Dassault company, despite previous denials of the deal by Egyptian officials [Dec 25]
- Putin visited Egypt for one day in which he met with Sisi and the latter agreed that both countries could use each other’s military bases for their operations. [November 30]. They also discussed the proposed Dabaa’ nuclear plant which Sisi is planning to build.
- Sisi inaugurated the now-annual Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh. As he arrived, the British National anthem was played – which generated social media jokes. During his speech at the Forum, Sisi said he ‘invented’ and added a new human right, that of “combating terrorism.”
[Naturally for anyone who knows human rights, fighting terrorism is a method not a right, and is the duty of the state. It is part of the contract between the people and the State.]
Prior to the conference there was a media campaign clearly targeting ‘foreign’ youth rather than Egyptian youth, with a hashtag of ‘We need to talk’. They also posted a video entitled ‘We need to talk’. This backfired, as Egyptians did two things: they took to Twitter and hijacked the hashtag and began enumerating the regime’s myriad violations of human rights. The second is that they created an identical video but reversing the message.
- Egypt’s official newspaper published Tiran and Sanafeer agreement after it was officially approved by Sisi. [August 17th:]
- Sisi grants permission to the Emir of Kuwait to own 163 acres of Egypt’s delta. [August 17].
Besides the declaration of a state of emergency, there are several significant events and measures taken since the bombings: [please note all new updates will be at the very end of this post]
First: By the Regime:
I do not believe I have to write yet another post on a Coptic massacre – but it seems this is the case. On April 9th, 2017, as Copts went to their churches in Egypt waving their palm leaves to celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of Passion Week, at 9.05 am two bombs went off – one in the St. George Church in Tanta, and the second in the St. Mark Church in Alexandria where the Coptic Pope had just finished prayers and had stepped out for a break. The St. Mark bomb was placed inside the altar where the Pope should have been. The majority of the deacons died in the blast as they sang the liturgy. No one still knows where the Tanta bomb was placed, but there are allegations that it exploded at the entrance of the church by a suicide bomber even though the damage inside the church was massive. The initial count of the total number of deaths was 45 [later increased to 50] and the injured 126, among them 10 in critical condition.