State prosecution investigates Imbaba sectarian violence

The Supreme State Prosecution (SSP) on Tuesday opened investigation into the sectarian violence that erupted in Imbaba neighborhood on Saturday, killing 12 people and wounding 242 others.

The SSP is taking over the investigation from the Military Prosecution, as it has more experience with acts of sectarian strife, terrorism and thuggery.

SSP prosecutors will inspect the Mar Mina and Virgin Mary churches that witnessed the violence.

They said they have a video clip in which a Salafi man appears inciting the crowd to head for the churches, thereby implicating him in the crime.

Security services have arrested 247 people in connection with the violence.

Three suspects, one of which appeared in the video clip, were found carrying Molotov cocktails and firearms during the clashes.

Prosecutors are reviewing the testimonies of eyewitnesses and tracking other suspects involved in the incident.

Investigations revealed that 15 thugs set fire to the Virgin Mary Church, causing the death of one Copt. They said they were provoked to see the brother of their friend injured in the fight before the Mar Mina Church, which prompted them to burn down the other church in retaliation.

Security services are intensifying efforts to arrest Abir Talaat, the Christian woman who has allegedly caused the violence when she was said to have left her husband and married a Muslim man.

Talaat had filed a lawsuit against her husband, requesting a divorce.

For his part, her husband said he had no idea where his wife was, as she has not been in the house since September. He also said that he does not mind giving her a divorce, which the court is scheduled to convene on 29 May to decide.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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