A Coptic Orthodox priest was shot dead in Egypt on July 6. Father Mina Aboud Sharween was attacked in the early afternoon while walking in the coastal city of El Arish in Northern Sinai. The shooting was one of several attacks believed to be by Islamist insurgents. They took place in al-Mahajer and al-Safaa in Rafah, as well as Sheikh Zuwaid and al-Kharouba.
The violence follows attacks in which five police offers were killed in El Arish on on July 5.
According to ICN, the Muslim Brotherhood has fiercely criticized Coptic Pope Tawadros II for giving his blessing to the removal of former President Muhammed Morsi. He attended the televised announcement by armed forces commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi suspending the constitution.
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie addressed a mass rally in the Egyptian capital on July 5 and called for troops to defy their generals and restore Morsi to power. In a speech, Badie denounced the Grand Iman of Al-Azhar University and the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox church for their support of the takeover. Badie is believed to under arrest.
Meanwhile, clashes in front of the Republican Guard headquarters on July 8 left at least 51 Civilians killed and 435 injured. While the military described the clashes and response as a reaction to terrorists, the Muslim Brotherhood described it as an attack on peaceful demonstrators.
The Muslim Brotherhood have engaged in five-day sit-in to demand that former Prresident Morsi be restored to power. Morsi's supporters have accused the military of firing live rounds at demonstraters at prayer, “without any consideration” and in “violation of the people’s right to peaceful protest" and thus “urging the” uprising “.
In return, the military announced that it has arrested 200 people in possession of “large quantities” of weapons and ammunition. The team of investigators found shell casings from bullets and Molotov cocktails at the scene of the clashes, interpretations of which remain contradictory.
The spokesman of the 30 June Front, former UN diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei condemned the violence and said that a “peaceful transition is the only way”. He called for an independent investigation into the incident. Even the main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, expressed “deep sorrow” for the victims, condemning “all acts of violence.” ElBaradei was among the dignitaries who joined General El-Sisi at the announcement that Morsi had been deposed.



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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