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One killed, 3 hurt in Egyptian church stabbings

Written by: Staff
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CAIRO, Apr 14 (Reuters) Three Egyptians killed a Christian worshipper and wounded three others today in knife attacks in three churches in the coastal city of Alexandria, security and police officials said.

''We believe the three men were working together to carry out the attacks,'' said a security official, who did not want to be named.

He said all three were captured after the attacks and a fourth man was apprehended before he could carry out a similar attack on a fourth church in an area called Sporting.

The officials said Mahmoud Abdul Galil, a former government employee who was removed from his position because of mental illness, killed a 67-year-old worshipper at Saint George Church in the Hadra area of Alexandria.

Mohammed Salah Eddin, a recent university graduate, wounded three worshippers in the Saints Church in the Sidi Bish area of Alexandria and an unknown man attacked worshippers in the Virgin Mary Church in the Fleming area, the officials said. No one was hurt in the Fleming incident, they said.

Alexandria was the scene of violent protests in October over a church play demonstrators said was offensive to Islam. Three people died when the protesters clashed with police.

Relations between Muslims and Christians in Egypt are generally peaceful but there are occasional outbreaks of sectarian violence, notably in 1999 when 22 people were killed in the southern village of Kosheh.

REUTERS SI KN1750

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