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Egypt: Student murdered in latest apparent femicide incident

Amany Abdel Karim, 19, was reportedly shot in the back after rejecting a man's marriage proposal
Social media photo of 19-year old Amany Abdel Karim (Facebook)

A young woman was reportedly killed in Egypt for rejecting a man's advances in the latest high-profile incident of femicide in the country in recent months.

Amany Abdel Karim, aged 19 and a student at Menoufia University in northern Egypt, was killed in her village allegedly by a man whose offer of marriage was rejected by her family.

Ahmed Fathy Omaira, 29, later also shot himself, with the security services finding his body by a roadside, according to a statement by the interior ministry on Sunday evening.

Local media quoted eyewitnesses as saying that Omaira followed Abdel Karim to her home where he shot her in the back with a birdshot rifle before fleeing the scene.

Egypt has recently witnessed a spate of men killing women for rejecting their advances.

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Last month Salma Bahgat, a 20-year-old media student at Al-Shorouk Academy, was killed by a fellow student in the city of Zagazig, northeast of Cairo.

Baghat was reportedly stabbed 17 times by Eslam Mohammed while leaving a building in Zagazig.

AFP reported that Bahgat had allegedly rejected Mohammed's advances, while he later confessed to committing the killing "out of revenge", according to local media.

Nearly eight million Egyptian women were victims of violence committed by their partners or relatives, or by strangers in public spaces, according to a United Nations survey conducted in 2015.

A report in February by the Edraak Foundation for Development and Equality recorded 813 cases of violence against women and girls in 2021, compared with 415 such crimes in 2020.

High-profile femicides have triggered widespread anger in Egypt in recent months, including the murder in June of television presenter Shaimaa Gamal. Her husband, a senior judicial official, was arrested following a tip-off from an accomplice who confessed to taking part in the crime, according to the prosecution.

In March, a teenager was sentenced to five years in prison over the suicide of a schoolgirl after images of her were shared online.

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