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South Africa: suspect arrested following brutal attack on three Egyptian Coptic monks

by Reporter - Mar 14 163 Views 0 Comment

Police announced on Wednesday that a suspect has been apprehended in connection with the deadly stabbing of three Coptic Orthodox Church monks at a monastery in South Africa.

The monks were tragically killed on Tuesday at Saint Mark the Apostle and Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery in Cullinan, a town east of the capital, Pretoria. According to the Police, a fourth individual was assaulted with an iron rod and managed to flee, seeking refuge in the monastery.

The individual taken into custody is a 35-year-old male. The Police did not disclose his identity or any additional information. He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

The reason behind the attack remained ambiguous. According to police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi, nothing was taken from the monastery.

On Tuesday, authorities announced they were searching for several suspects.

It is uncommon for churches and other places of worship in South Africa to be targeted by deadly attacks.

The Coptic Orthodox Church's headquarters is in Egypt, and dioceses have been established in various countries. This Christian community is among the oldest in the world. 

Recent security measures around Christian places of worship in Egypt have led to a decrease in attacks in the country.

The Coptic Orthodox Church identified the monks killed in South Africa as Hegumen Takla el-Samuely, Yostos ava Markos, and Mina ava Markos. All three monks were Egyptian citizens.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of South Africa stated that Hegumen el-Samuely served as the deputy of the local diocese.

The Coptic church is led by its pope, currently Pope Tawadros II. The South African diocese mentioned being informed of the attack and awaiting details on its causes.

According to the Coptic Orthodox Church of South Africa, the Egyptian ambassador to South Africa visited the monastery after the attack. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated they were in contact with the embassy in South Africa.

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