- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Egyptian authorities managed to recapture a town in central Egypt that had been controlled by Muslim Brotherhood supporters for more than two months, the Guardian in London first reported.

The Washington Times reported last week that the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters began forcing the roughly 15,000 Christian Copts of Dalga village in Minya province to pay a jizya tax as indicated in Koran 9:29 for conquered non-Muslims.

Up to 100 Christian families have fled Dalga since July, with dozens of Christian-owned properties set ablaze, including the 1,600-year-old monastery of the Virgin Mary and St. Abraam, the Guardian said.

After several failed attempts to retake the village, Egyptian police finally re-entered Dalga on Monday morning, the Guardian reported.

Authorities are planning assaults on up to 10 other towns in the region, Minya’s governor, Salah Zeyada, said.

Minya’s bishop, Anba Macarius, said violence against Copts heightened over the summer after ex-president Mohamed Morsi’s supporters blamed them for his removal.

“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 Christian lawyer who fled that day. “One of them was as follows: ‘Your brethren are being killed at Nahda and Rabaa [the two Cairo camps]. Everyone with a weapon, come out to save them from their killers — the Christian infidels, the police, and the army.’ It was a call made across the village.”

Police arrested the Muslim Brotherhood’s main English-language spokesman, Gehad el-Haddad, on Tuesday along with other senior members of the group, all charged with inciting violence, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. El-Haddad is the son of Essam el-Haddad, a senior foreign policy aide to Mr. Morsi.

The father has been held in an undisclosed military facility with Mohammed Morsi since the coup, AP reported.