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Egypte: This was translated by a friend - I just skimmed through and did minor corrections/edits:

Témoignage et mise au point sur évènement maltraité par les médias occidentaux

Lundi, 9 mai 2011 - 7h43 AM

Monday 9 May 2011


Al-Basrawy, is a neighborhood within Imababa, where police and undercover investigations personnel are scared to go into, because it has plenty of Sa3ayda (Upper-Egyptians), drug dealers, and ex-convicts. Back in the day (during the start of the revolution) a police officer and five soldiers wanted to arrest a member of one of the big families there, the officer and the soldiers left in body bags, that’s just a note to help you understand the nature of this neighborhood.

A Coptic woman - who had converted to Islam a little while back (supposedly about 6 months ago) and married a Muslim man, according to the story relayed by people there – called one of the Salafyeen of the neighborhood 15 minutes after the Maghreb prayer call (sunset) saying her family had kidnapped her and brought her back to the church. She screamed (for help) to the guy on the phone, and of course the man - taken over by chivalry - gathered a crowd and headed to the church. As soon as they arrived to the church, they came under fire by people on top of the church and a nearby apartment building. Then some men started running saying the Salafyeen are coming to demolish the church, they closed of the church from the inside. electricity went out in the neighborhood and people where fighting In the dark until the army arrived.

I heard of the events on twitter at ’Eshaa (night) prayer, and came down to pray and I arrived there at about 8.30 pm.

People from the neighborhood were gathered in front of the church, along with 3 army APCs (armored personnel carriers), and there was a lot of gunfire between the army and the armed people on top of the church and the building next to it. The church is in a small side street and the army couldn’t intervene because of the heavy fire coming from the building and the church, they also threw Molotov cocktails on a huge pile of garbage in front of the church setting it ablaze.

I saw with my own eyes 2 injured people, and 3 ambulance cars rushing people out. Then snipers from the ministry of interior arrived wearing civilian clothes, they went up on a higher (than the one next to the church) apartment building accompanied by two of the neighborhood’s youth. Heavy gunfire ensued by the army, using the machine-guns mounted on the APCs (military police ’Fahd’ vehicles?). Then a (army or police?) unit tried to storm in the church, fire fighters arrived and tried to put out the fire in front of it. We kept hearing screams from inside the church for about 10 minutes, gunfire was intermittent, then it all calmed down and the lights came back on in the church. The 3 APCs then entered the side street where the church is in, and as soon as they did the armed men on top the apartment building threw Molotov cocktails at them, which drove them back.

Neighborhood inhabitants gathered and started chanting “Muslim and Christian , One hand” as they saw the APC’s back out of the street. A salafee-looking guy with a beard ran towards that apartment building with a number of the Christian residents, broke the door and took a number of military police soldiers and headed for the roof. A bunch of kids started making Molotov cocktails, and within seconds they joined them to the roof, threw some on the armed men on top of the building. People in the street got motorbikes and used the headlights to blind the armed men on top the building, until they couldn’t fire anymore. Molotov cocktails kept raining on the armed men, until the army stormed in the building. Snipers and the army spread on almost every apartment building next to the one with the armed men, then it all calmed down.

The Central Security Forces that had arrived at about 9.30 pm started forming a cordon around the location. People kept chanting for the army that was at about 10.30, then I went home and some people started leaving but the majority remained.

What surprised me was the amount of gunfire by those armed men, and the apartment building door that was barricaded as if they were expecting something to happen. People dont even know who these guys are, Copts and Muslims were standing side by side asking who are these guys. And why did this girl call 15 minutes after Maghreb prayer, the time most Salafyeen spend in the mosque to study and pray.