Mariam Mohammed lost her life following a drive-by theft in Cairo. Image Credit: Facebook

Cairo: An Egyptian girl had been dragged to death in a drive-by theft in Cairo, an incident that has triggered massive outrage in the country.

The 24-year-old girl identified as Mariam Mohammed was walking with another on a street in the Cairo southern quarter of Maadi where a person sitting next to a driver of a speeding minibus tried to snatch her bag, witnesses said.

The girl clung to her bag as the vehicle sped off, the public prosecution said, citing an eyewitness. The victim later lost her balance and her head crashed into the front of a parked car.

“The two offenders escaped with the bag,” the prosecution added in a statement.

Video clips retrieved from surveillance cameras at the scene showed that the minibus had passed on the road at high speed, according to prosecutors.

Police investigations revealed that the offenders’ vehicle had dragged Mohammed who was returning home from work for several metres, local media reported. She worked at a state-owned bank.

Maadi prosecutors today ordered two arrested suspects in the incident remanded for four days pending further questioning on charges of murder and forced thievery, legal and security sources said.

If convicted, the accused could face life imprisonment or death penalty, according to law experts.

A hashtag reading in Arabic “The Girl of Maadi” has been trending in memory of Mariam. Commentators have posted tributes to the victim and raised questions about street safety for women.

“How long will the killing, harassment and insecurity of girls continue? RIP Mariam,” a woman named Salma Elsafty tweeted.

“Veiled girl walking Maadi didn’t reply, got killed & still people say verbal assault is harmless & still people say it’s the clothes. How long will the killing, harassment & insecurity of girls continues for God’s sake?” Manar, another commentator, tweeted in English.

In recent years, Egypt has stepped up a crackdown on harassment of women and toughened legal penalties against offenders.