Three Egyptian monks have been killed in an attack at a monastery in South Africa.

Police said on Wednesday that the monks belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church were fatallay stabbed and a suspect has been arrested.

The monks were killed on Tuesday at the Saint Mark the Apostle and Saint Samuel the Confessor Monastery in Cullinan, a town east of the capital, Pretoria.

The Coptic Orthodox Church named the monks killed in South Africa as Monk Hegumen Takla el-Samuely, Monk Yostos ava Markos and Monk Mina ava Markos. All three were Egyptian nationals.

A fourth person was beaten with an iron rod before escaping and hiding in a room at the monastery.

The suspect arrested was a 35-year-old man. Police did not provide his name or other details. He was due to appear in court on Thursday.

The motive for the attack was unclear, but it appeared nothing was stolen from the monastery, police spokesperson Col. Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi said in a statement.

Police had said that they were seeking multiple suspects.

( Coptic Orthodox Church/Facebook)

Deadly attacks on churches and other places of worship in South Africa are rare.

The Coptic Orthodox Church has its headquarters in Egypt and dioceses in several countries. It is one of the oldest Christian communities in the world and has been the target of deadly attacks by Islamic militants in Egypt and elsewhere.

The attacks in Egypt have subsided recently amid tighter security around Christian places of worship in the Muslim-majority country.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of South Africa said that el-Samuely was the deputy of the local diocese. It said the monks were the victims of “a criminal attack,” which resulted in their “martyrdom.”

The Coptic church has its own pope, currently Pope Tawadros II, and the South African diocese said he was aware of the attack and was “waiting to be informed of its causes.”The Egyptian ambassador to South Africa visited the monastery following the attack, the Coptic Orthodox Church of South Africa said.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said it was in communication with the embassy in South Africa.

End

To Get The Latest News Update

Sign up to Our Subscription.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

To Get The Latest News Update

Sign up to Our Subscription.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.