x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Egyptian man killed over his girlfriend

Three suspected Islamic militants confronted the couple in a park and said they should not be together if they were not married.

CAIRO // An Egyptian university student was fatally stabbed as his girlfriend looked on after three suspected Islamic militants confronted the couple in a park and said they should not be together if they were not married, security officials said yesterday.

The murder is fuelling fears that vigilante groups may be seeking to strictly enforce Islamic mores, emboldened by the election of the Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi. Moderate Muslims along with liberal and women's groups worry that Mr Morsi's presidency will slowly eradicate Egypt's secular traditions and change the social fabric of the mainly Muslim nation of 82 million people.

The student, 20-year-old Ahmed Hussein Eid, was attacked on June 25 in the Suez, east of Cairo, while he was with his girlfriend in a park that is a favourite spot for courting couples, according to the officials. It was not immediately clear what the two were doing when challenged by the three men, who arrived by motorbike.

But the officials, citing initial testimony of the girlfriend, said the men told the couple they should not be together because they were not married and must immediately leave and go their separate ways. An argument followed and one of the three men stabbed Mr Eid in the upper left thigh, near his genitals.

He was taken to hospital but died of his wounds on Monday, said the security officials.