September 16, 2013 - 16:03 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Egyptian troops have stormed the central town of Dalga, which has been held by Islamists loyal to the ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, BBC News reported.
Army and police backed by helicopters entered the town early on Monday, Sept 16.
Coptic Christians living in the town of 120,000 people had appealed for help, saying they could not pray safely and were being taxed by "thugs".
Egyptian authorities are cracking down on Islamists following Morsi's removal from power on July 3.
Hundreds of people were killed when government forces broke up protest camps in the capital, Cairo, in support of Morsi.
Father Ayoub Youssef, the patron of Mar Guirguis Church for Catholics in Dalga, told the BBC that Christian families were "relieved" but still concerned, following Monday's developments.
Eyewitnesses said the Islamists put up no resistance as the troops entered the town, which is around 300km south of Cairo.
Elsewhere in Egypt on Monday, suspected Islamist militants used a roadside bomb to target a bus carrying government forces near the town of el-Arish in Sinai. Eight of those on board the bus were injured in the attack. The bus passengers were police conscripts travelling from the border town of Rafah.
Last week, Egypt's prosecution ordered a 30-day extension for Morsi's detainment.
Morsi is accused of conspiring with Hamas to break into prisons and attack state institutions, as well as involvement in murder and attempted murder during the January 2011 revolt against Mubarak's regime.
Before ascending to power in 2012, Morsi and other Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested by police on Jan 28, 2011, during the 18-day popular uprising. Two days later, Morsi and other prisoners escaped after armed men stormed the prison where they were detained.
Morsi was referred to trial two weeks ago on charges of inciting violence on Dec 5 of last year when his supporters and opponents clashed at the presidential palace over a constitutional declaration -- leaving at least nine people dead.
The prosecution also ordered a 30-day extension of the detainment of Morsi's former chief of staff, Mohamed Refaa al-Tahtawi, over the same accusations.