BANI MAZAR (AFP) â€” Ten mutilated bodies were found early on Thursday in a southern Egyptian village, some of them missing their vital organs and laying in pools of blood, police sources said.
The bodies of 10 Egyptians â€” four men, two women and four children â€” were found in three neighbouring houses in the village of Ezbet Shams el-Din, 225 kilometres south of Cairo, the sources said.
Their stomachs and thorats were slashed open and many of their body parts, including genitals, were cut off, said an AFP correspondent in this village near the town of Bani Mazar, in the Minya governorate.
Neighbours and relatives later identified the victims in one of the houses as primary schoolteacher Yehia Ahmed Abu Baker, his wife Nemaat and two children, Mohammed and Asmaa.
A son who spent the night at his grandmother’s discovered the bodies in the morning, witnesses told police.
In the second house lay the disfigured bodies of Taha Abdul Meguid Mohammed, a young labourer and his father, Ahmed Hassan.
Mohammed’s brother, who lives nearby, found the bodies when he went to the house to wake him up for dawn prayers, police told AFP.
The third house contained the bodies of Said Mahmoud Awda, a farmer, that of his son Ahmed, and two daughters, Fatima and Sabah. Awda’s two other daughters who live on the second floor of the same building discovered the bodies.
Investigators immediately ruled out routine motives for murder in Upper Egypt such as vendettas, land disputes, honour killings or sectarian violence, as a possible reason for the slaughter.
There was no blood relation between the victims in the three houses in the impoverished village and police said they still had no clue if the crime was committed by an individual or more than one person.
But initial reports suggested that there was no forced entry into the houses nor was their any sign of resistance by the victims.
Investigations are ongoing to determine the motive behind the brutal slayings and catch the culprits, police said.