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Kidnapped Coptic Christian found dead in Sinai

July 11, 2013 3:24 P.M. (Updated: July 12, 2013 8:02 P.M.)
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- A Coptic Christian shop owner was found dead on Thursday in North Sinai, five days after he was kidnapped by gunmen, Egyptian security sources said.

The body of Majdi Lamai Habashi, 60, was found near a cemetery in the Sheikh Zuweid area near the border with the Gaza Strip. His throat had been slit, security officials told Ma'an.

Habashi, who owned a shop selling electrical goods in Sheikh Zuweid, was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen on Saturday. The same day, gunmen killed a Coptic Christian priest by dragging him from his car and riddling him with bullets in North Sinai's el-Arish.

On Wednesday, gunmen opened fire on the car of a senior military commander near Sheikh Zuweid, an army spokesman said, a day after two people died in an attack by militants on a security checkpoint.

The car of the second field army chief "came under heavy fire, which led to clashes between security forces and the terrorist elements," the spokesman said in a statement.

Security officials told AFP the commander was not hurt in the attack. One girl was hurt during the exchange of fire and died later in hospital, the army said.

This is the latest in a string of attacks in Sinai "targeting the army and the police in recent days with the aim of sowing chaos and harming the stability and national security of Egypt," the army said.

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