Sunday, October 9, 2011

Clashes in Cairo over Coptic protest

“At least one soldier has been killed and more than 20 people have been injured in riots that erupted in Cairo when Coptic Christians protesting against the recent destruction of a church came under attack.

The Copts were demonstrating outside the state television building in central Cairo on Sunday when they clashed with locals, according to Egyptian state television.

Military vehicles were set on fire and thick black smoke rose along the Nile outside the state television building, the state-run station reported.

During the protest, led by several Coptic bishops, the demonstrators burnt photos of Mustafa al-Sayed, the governor of Aswan who had said that the church his province's village of Marinap had been built illegally.

Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo, said "utter chaos" prevailed in the centre of the capital.

Ragech said: "It was supposed to be a peaceful protest, demanding that Coptic rights should be fulfilled. But it soon escalated into violence, with people on balconies pelting the demonstrators with stones, clearly disagreeing with the cause of the Coptic demonstrators."

The protesters demanded the governor be sacked and the church rebuilt.”

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