Fratricide (familial)

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In the traditional sense, fratricide (from the Latin frater, for brother, and cide, for killing) is the killing of a person by either his brother or sister. In this sense, Cain committed fratricide against Abel in the Biblical story of Genesis and Romulus committed fratricide against Remus in a dispute about the founding of Rome. In a more general sense, the term fratricide is used to describe the killing of those with whom one shares some type of brotherhood. Hence the military usage of fratricide to denote the inadvertent killing in the heat of battle of one's own fellow soldiers and the coining of the term "ethnic fratricide" by the social anthropologist Stanley Tambiah to describe ethnic violence in Sri Lanka. Similar terms in English are "patricide", the killing of one's father, and "matricide", the killing of one's mother.