Egypt prosecutes man accused of killing Coptic priest | Region

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian prosecutors arraigned a man on Tuesday for allegedly stabbing a Coptic Christian priest to death in an attack that shocked the Arab world’s most populous country.

The Crown said in a statement that the suspect was charged with killing the priest earlier this month on the popular seaside promenade in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. He was also charged with unlawful possession of a knife used in the attack, he added.

No date has been set for the trial. The suspect could be sentenced to death if found guilty.

The Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria identified the priest as Arsanious Wadid, 56, who served in a local parish.

Sectarian violence is not uncommon in Egypt. Islamic extremists have also targeted Christians in recent years, particularly after the military ousting in 2013 of an Islamist but elected president amid mass protests against his divisive rule.

In September 2017, a suspected Islamic State supporter stabbed an 82-year-old Christian doctor to death in Cairo. He was sentenced to death the following year.

Copts in Egypt, the largest Christian community in the Middle East, have repeatedly complained of discrimination. They make up about 10% of Egypt’s more than 103 million people.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Elna M. Lemons