Monday, May 9, 2011

At least five killed in a clash between Christians and Muslims in Cairo

At least 10 people have died in Cairo and 186 wounded in an armed clash between Christians and Muslims in the Sea Mina Coptic church, the neighborhood of Imbaba, according to security services. The Salafis, belonging to one of the most rigorous current of Islam and gaining ground in Egypt, launched the attack on the church to believe that the Copts had locked away to a Christian who had become Muslim to marry a girl of the latter religion.

Muslims, according to AFP, molotov cocktails were thrown against the Christians. The injured, victims of fractures or gunshot wounds, were transported by ambulance to four local hospitals, medical sources said. The sources did not specify what religion they belong to the fatalities, but said that among the wounded were three victims in critical condition.

Egyptian Armed Forces, which govern the country since the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, on 11 February, had to intervene in riot gear to separate the two groups. The clash began early this evening and about midnight the situation was calm in the sector. The army has pledged to take firm action against those responsible for the clashes between Muslims and Christians.

According to military sources, the armed forces "will not allow any power to impose its hegemony in Egypt." There are regular clashes between Christians and Muslims in Egypt on religious grounds, especially in the south, but are becoming more common in this capital. On the night of March 8, in the Cairo neighborhood of Muqqatam, 13 people were killed in a clash between Christians and Muslims, in fact most serious violence since the fall of the Mubarak regime.

That confrontation occurred when the Copts cut Muqqatam near a highway to protest the burning of a church, days before, south of the Egyptian capital, as word spread that a mosque was burned. The tension between the two communities has been increasing in recent months precisely because these alleged conversions that take place in churches and monasteries.

Egyptian Christians, mostly Copts, represent 10% of the country's population, estimated at about 75 million people. Feel increasingly greater marginalization and discrimination within Egyptian society, with a majority of Sunni Muslims.

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