Egyptian schoolgirl, 10, gunned down as she walked home from bible study class
- Jessi Boulus died from the single shot to the chest last Tuesday
- She was making her way through the streets of Cairo
- Her mother said she believes her daughter was targeted due to her religion
By JILL REILLY
PUBLISHED: 02:32 EST, 13 August 2013 | UPDATED: 02:49 EST, 13 August 2013
A 10-year-old schoolgirl died after being shot as she was walking home from a bible study class in Egypt.
Jessi Boulus died from the single shot to the chest as she made her way through the streets of Cairo on Tuesday.
Her death is yet another example of rising tensions against Christians in the country after supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood started to target Egypt’s Christian minority, holding them partly responsible for his removal.
‘She was my best friend, my everything. Jessi was just becoming a young woman,’ she said.
‘Every woman dreams of becoming a mother, and for 10 years I was lucky enough to be a mum. I’ll miss Jessi calling me mum – I know I won’t ever hear it again.’
Jessi’s father told the website: ‘Jessi was everything to us. Her killers didn’t know that Jessi was my life – my future. They killed our future. I lived for her. We both did.’
Her parents said that they had noticed rising tensions in recent months and had discussed emigrating but had decided to stay in Egypt as it was their home.
In April, a Muslim mob attacked the main cathedral of the Coptic Orthodox Church as Christians held a funeral and protested there over four Christians killed in sectarian violence the day before.
Pope Tawadros II publicly blamed Morsi for failing to protect the building.
Egyptian security forces stood by during a brutal attack on Coptic Christians in Luxor days after Mohamed Morsi’s removal, according to Amnesty International.
During the 18-hour-long attack on 5 July, the security forces left six besieged Coptic Christian men – four of whom were then killed and one hospitalised – to the mercy of an angry crowd.
An angry mob armed with metal bars, knives, tree branches and hammers attacked Christian homes and businesses in Nagah Hassan, 11 miles west of Luxor, after the dead body of a Muslim man was discovered near the homes of Christian families.
Despite local residents’ and religious leaders’ repeated calls for help, security forces on the scene made only half-hearted attempts to end the violence and sufficient reinforcements failed to arrive.
The violence began at 3am, shortly after the Muslim man’s body was found in the vicinity of Christian homes.
His family blamed the death on a local Coptic Christian and by mid-day more than 100 Christian homes had been attacked, with scores of them looted or torched. Local residents reported calling the police and army’s hotlines throughout the day in vain, and local religious leaders also approached security officials.
The attack went on for 18 hours, and there was not a door on which I did not knock: police, army, local leaders, the Central Security Forces, the Governorate. Nothing was done,’said Father Barsilious, a local priest from Dab’iya.
The security forces evacuated women and children trapped inside a house surrounded by an angry mob but left six men behind, apparently following demands from the crowd that the men remain. Four of the abandoned men were later stabbed and/or beaten to death and another required hospital treatment.
Three other Christian men were hospitalised in separate violent incidents.
One woman said she had begged police officers to save her sons who were left behind, but they ignored her pleas:
‘I kissed the police officer’s hands and legs and begged him to protect my two sons and take them out … he completely ignored me and said he would only take women and children … I buried my two sons in one day,’she said. Other female relatives said they had given men their abayas (gowns) to try to disguise them as women so that they could escape.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2391101/Egypt-shooting-Coptic-Christian-schoolgirl-Jessi-Boulus-10-gunned-Cairo.html#ixzz2br3UNW93
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