A Cairo cab bearing a portrait of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi drives past a Coptic church
A Cairo cab bearing a portrait of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi drives past a Coptic church in the Egyptian capital in June 2012. Gunmen opened fire on the home of a Coptic Christian in the Sinai peninsula on Saturday, hours after a visit by Morsi to reassured Christian residents they would not be targeted again. © Khaled Desouki - AFP/File
A Cairo cab bearing a portrait of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi drives past a Coptic church
AFP
Last updated: October 6, 2012

Copt home attacked after Egyptian president promises security

Gunmen opened fire on the home of a Coptic Christian in the Sinai peninsula on Saturday, hours after a visit by President Mohamed Morsi to reassure Christian residents they would not be targeted again.

Gunmen "used automatic weapons when they opened fire on the house of a Coptic resident of Rafah hours after the president left," a security official told AFP.

There were no reports of casualties, he said.

Witnesses told AFP three gunmen in a car fired on the house of Magdi Niruz before fleeing the scene.

Morsi had visited the Sinai peninsula on Friday to meet with and reassure families who fled Rafah to El-Arish after receiving death threats.

This "will not happen again," Morsi told a group of local Bedouin tribal chiefs and other residents of El-Arish.

"Your security is our security," he said.

"What happened is an individual case which represents neither Egypt nor its children, Muslim or Christian. It's crime for which the perpetrators must be held responsible," MENA quoted Morsi as saying.

According to residents and officials in Rafah, on the border with Gaza, Christian families fled to El-Arish about 30 kilometres (19 miles) away after having received death threats from Islamists.

Leaflets were circulated in Rafah demanding that the Coptic community leave or be killed, residents said. A shop owned by a Coptic family was subsequently machine-gunned.

Egypt's Christians, who make up six to 10 percent of the country's population of 82 million, have regularly complained of discrimination and marginalisation.

They have also been the target of numerous sectarian attacks.

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