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Egypt: Several wounded in Coptic-Muslim clashes

Category: Headlines

Published: 1st Aug 2012 23:56:15

At least 16 people have died after Muslims attacked a church and Christian homes in a village near the Egyptian capital, Cairo, security officials say.

The unrest in Dahshur, about 40km (25 miles) south of Cairo, started after a Muslim man died of wounds sustained in an earlier clash on Friday.

Violence frequently flares between Egypt's Muslim majority and its Coptic Christian minority.

It is the first instance since Mohammed Mursi took over as president in June.

Last October, a suicide attack on a church in Alexandria killed 24 people.

Police in Dahshur early on Wednesday fired teargas to stop a Muslim mob from setting fire to a church, but the rioters instead torched several Christian properties and three police cars, officials said.

Ten policemen were among the 16 injured, according to the authorities.

The office of the local Coptic archbishop of Giza said the entire Christian population of Dahshur have now fled, according to the Associated Press.

They rioters "looted and torched shops, including a jewellery shop... and terrorised the local community, forcing them to leave their homes", the agency quoted the statement as saying.

Tension first erupted on Friday after a Christian laundry worker was accused by a Muslim client of singing his shirt while ironing it.

Villagers from both sides threw fire-bombs at each other, fatally wounding a Muslim.

The man died of his injuries on Tuesday and was buried overnight, sparking the latest unrest.

About 10% of Egyptians are Coptic Christians.

They fear that more radical forms of Islamism, resurgent since the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, could imperil their safety in Egypt.

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BBC News, 2012. Egypt: Several wounded in Coptic-Muslim clashes [Online] (Updated 1st Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444012/Egypt-Several-wounded-in-Coptic-Muslim-clashes [Accessed 23rd Aug 2014]

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