51. Samallūt train massacre accused says did not know victims were Copts

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“Investigation into the Samallūṭ Train Slaughter: Accused: I Guarded a Church, Got on the Train to Kill Anyone, did not Know Victims were Copts,” is the headline in a page three report in Al-Shurūq al-Jadīd.
The report says “he confessed he was the perpetrator of the incident [shooting], and said he returned from his work on the morning of Tuesday, January 11, the day the incident was committed, having guarded the church of Banī Mazār until one in the afternoon [sic]. He went home, and found the problems he had left just the same, then he felt a severe headache, and decided to leave the house to rid himself of his anger or to kill anyone. His feet led him to the station street, and he found the train at the platform, and decided to board it and return to work to amuse himself with some friends far from the problems at home. The headache intensified, so he entered the carriage and did not find a seat, so he got out his official weapon and fired the bullets it contained at anyone he met in carriage number nine until the bullets ran out.
 … “He emphasized that he did not know the injured nor the victim [the dead man], and there was no personal enmity and no previous knowledge of them, and he did not know their religion.”
Further on, under the sub-headline: “Victims: Accused Shot us because we are Copts,” the report goes on to say “the Coptic victims of the incident said the accused fired at them because they were Copts, after having recited ‘there is no deity but Allāh’ [part of the Muslim testament of faith]. But Muslim witnesses said the accused did not utter a word …”


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