(JNS.org) Egyptian security forces stormed Delga, an Islamist-controlled village in central Egypt that had been the scene of some of the worst anti-Christian violence in Egypt.
According to reports, Egyptian soldiers and police entered Delga in the Minya province just after dawn, firing tear gas and searching for suspects, AFP reported. Security forces had arrested 56 terrorists by Monday afternoon.
The village, located 190 miles south of Cairo, came under the control of Islamists loyal to ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi following the clearing of pro-Morsi camps in Cairo in mid-August. After taking control, the Islamists unleashed a campaign of terror against the village’s sizable Christian minority, who make up about one-sixth of the village’s 120,000 people.
Three churches were torched, dozens of Christian homes were burned, and two Christians were killed, according to Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, AFP reported. Nearly 100 Christian families fled as a result.
Additional reports indicate that Christians were also forced to pay jizya—a special tax for non-Muslims.
“As soon as the crackdown in Cairo started, all the loudspeakers at the main mosques in Delga issued calls for jihad,” said Samir Lamei Sakr, a prominent Christian lawyer who fled from the town later that day, according to The Guardian.