Outside the shop, Bakhit’s 35-year-old nephew, Youssef Samaan Girgis (shown to the left), father of three young children, sees the abductors dragging his uncle to their pick-up truck. When Youssef tells them to stop, the kidnappers ask him for his ID card. We can’t say with certainty what it is that the attackers are looking for on the card, but this region of Egypt has been home to several incidents in which those identifying as Christians were specifically targeted. And Youssef is a Christian—a fact clearly printed on his ID card.
So, the abductors grab Youssef, too.
Watch the shocking CCTV footage:
While the attackers move Youssef and Bakhit to a waiting pick-up truck, Mariam, Bakhit’s 21-year-old daughter, comes running out of the family house located above the store. “When I found my father in the pick-up truck, I pleaded with the abductors to let my father go,” she says. “But they bluntly told me no. Then I said to my father: ‘Please come out!’ He urged me to get back into the house. There were other people on the street, but nobody helped me. Then [the kidnappers] drove off and the only thing I could do was cry.”
Ramzy, Bakhit’s son, watched the CCTV footage. He says he doesn’t recognize the abductors. “We are the only Christian family in this village, and we live in peace with the Muslims,” Ramzy notes. “My father didn’t have any enemies. These people were strangers to us.”