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EGYPT/ Father Greiche: Military responsible for the massacre

Father Rafic Greiche describes what happened yesterday in Cairo, where the Egyptian army fired into the crowd at a peaceful demonstration of Egyptian Copts and killed 36 people.

Funeral of the Copts killed in the clashes with the army   (photo ANSA) Funeral of the Copts killed in the clashes with the army (photo ANSA)

“The army hires people from the streets to join the manifestations and cause chaos to give the army the opportunity to intervene, which they did yesterday with guns and tanks.” This is the statement Father Rafic Greiche, the spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt, made to ilsussidiario.net on the massacre of Christians yesterday in Cairo. “Pope Shenouda asked Christians to fast for five days in response to this tragedy.”

What does the Catholic Church in Egypt think about what happened yesterday in Cairo?
First of all, it is a very bad situation for Egyptians in general and for the Christians in particular because the manifestations were peaceful at the beginning, but then the army opened fire on the manifestations after the vagabonds interfered. They used their military trucks to push the people out of the manifestations which led to killing people under the wheels of the trucks. Now we have thirty deaths and 250 injured. The government and the military council are silent. They do not do anything to prevent these kinds of things, and this was the bloodiest accident since the revolution.

According to some reporters, the clashes were fueled by the counter-revolutionary forces and not by the army. Is this true or is it just an attempt to justify the military government?
I will tell you something that you do not have in the West, but which is well known in the Middle East, where there are dictatorships, like Hosni Mubarak, Bashar Al Assad, Ali Abdullah Saleh e Muammar Gheddafi. They sometimes do not directly use the army or the police. They bring people from the streets, people who are already criminals, and they form groups to go into the manifestations to stop, or dissolve, the manifestations. These people enter with orders from the army, and begin to throw stones at the army. It is done so that the army has to interfere. It is a tactic that we know very well. In Assad’s Syria, they use the same tactics. They say that there are terrorists that are killing members of Syria’s army. We know that these people are from the police, and are well known to the police and the army. Then, when the army interferes, they shoot and move their tanks against the people and hurt them. Can you imagine what I am saying?

Yes, unfortunately. What do you think about the reaction of the Copts?