CAIRO: Rumors, spreading over the past two weeks that a hooded attacker wielding a small knife has been targeting women in Maadi, have caused panic in the Cairo suburb.
Officials say only three girls have been injured and no deaths have been reported.
Farouk Fahmy, a police officer, said the situation is under control and that Maadi residents have been embellishing some of the stories and rumors.
He said the police have only reported three cases of girls who have been slightly injured with wounds to the back. He added that security police force in the Maadi suburb is well-deployed and reinforced to ensure the safety and security of its residents.
“The subject of the Maadi’s mass murderer is wrongly dealt with among Maadi residents. Nothing is that serious. People just talked and made a huge fuss about it which spread horror among girls, said Fahmy.
Fahmy told The Daily Star Egypt that eyewitness descriptions indicate the alleged perpetrator is good looking, in his 20s and suffers from psychological trauma.
Despite police assurances, Maadi residents are not taking any chances, however.
“I heard he hits girls, who wear tight jeans, and tries to stab them in the back. I don’t hang out with my friends in Maadi or go out with out my brother, said 15-year-old Rania Lotfy, who lives in Maadi.
Amal Abdel Salam, a mother of two young girls, said she doesn’t allow her daughters to go out from home after rumors have been growing about the Maadi assailant.
“I even stopped them from wearing tight jeans, as I heard there are more than 10 death cases, said Abdel Salam who is also a Maadi inhabitant.
Tareq Fawzy, manager of the One Day Hospital in Maadi, said the hospital received only three cases and that the victims were treated on the spot and immediately released.
“On Dec. 20, the hospital received only one case. The following day it received another two cases. They were girls aging 10, 11 and 17 years old and suffering from small stabs at their backs. The hospital’s reception dealt calmly with the girls and nothing was dangerous, said Fawzy.
He added: “The hospital reported the cases to the police and it was noticed there was an intense follow up from the police. The hospital hasn’t been receiving any other cases related to that assailant after then.