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South African police investigate killing of three Egyptian Coptic monks in Pretoria

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South African police have launched an investigation into the murder of three Egyptian Coptic monks killed inside a Coptic monastery in the country.

Police spokesperson, Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi, said three victims were found with stab wounds at a church in Cullinan, Pretoria.

“The suspects reportedly left the scene without taking any valuable items or properties from the place. The motive for murders is unknown at this stage,” Nevhuhulwi added.

A fourth person, who survived the attack, told police he was hit with an iron rod before fleeing and hiding.

In a statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday, the church said an internal investigation had been launched and that the Egyptian ambassador to South Africa had been informed.

“The church expresses its deep anguish over the occurrence of such a tragic incident, extends its sincere condolences to the families of the three monks, and is full of confidence that only the merciful and just God is able to grant comfort and reveal the truth,” it said.

A representative of the Coptic Diocese of South Africa was among the monks killed in the incident.

Authorities are urging anyone with information that could assist the investigation to come forward.

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