Live Updates: Aftermath of military attack on Coptic Protest

10/10/2011

4:00 pm: Khaled Ali, a lawyer and the head of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, say he and other lawyers have spoken to the Attorney General and agreed to bring an autopsy team to the Coptic Hospital.

3:55 pm: Funeral services for the victims of last night’s violence end and the bodies of those killed leave the Coptic Cathedral in Abbasseya on their way to burial.

3:45 pm: The priest at the funeral service announces that only four bodies are present, as the rest await autopsies. The Coptic Church issued a call to its followers to begin a three-day-long fast to mourn those killed.

3:40 pm: Coptic Pope Shenouda III is offering prayers over the coffins of those killed last night.

3:35 pm: Al-Azhar, Egypt’s most highest religious institution, has called for a new law regulating the construction of churches. The initial incident in Aswan that sparked last night’s protest was an attack on a church that attackers claimed was being built in contravention to the law. Coptic groups have long complained that laws regulating houses of worship are discriminatory.

3:30 pm: The Muslim Brotherhood has released a statement saying that last night’s violence indicates an attempt by both internal and external forces to abort the revolution and disrupt the march towards democracy. “There are certain channels, means and times for demanding legitimate demands and all Egyptian people have legitimate demands, not only our Coptic brothers,” said the statement. “This is certainly not the right time to demand them since the current government is an interim government and the general conditions are abnormal.” The Brotherhood’s statement added that the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces maintain the current schedule for elections.

3:15 pm: State TV has raised the death toll from yesterday’s violence to 25.

3:00 pm: Church representatives are meeting with families of the dead at the Coptic Hospital to discuss autopsies.

2:20 pm: Activists say that families of all 17 dead at the Coptic Hospital have agreed to request autopsies.

1:30 pm: A team of detectives from the public prosecution examined the scene of the clashes that took place outside Maspiro on Sunday. The investigation aims to count the number of deaths and assess the damages to public and private property. The investigators visited hospitals to hear statements from victims and talked to dozens of eyewitnesses, according to the state news agency MENA. The attorney general has ordered permission to bury 20 bodies of those who died in the fighting.

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