Sunday, 8 May 2011

Muslim-Christian clashes kill 10 in Cairo

Egypt's transitional government has called a crisis meeting after Muslim-Christian clashes in Cairo left 10 dead and cast a new cloud over hopes for peaceful post-revolutionary change.

A Coptic church in the Imaba neighbourhood was set on fire after fighting broke out over claims that a Christian woman was being held and prevented from converting to Islam.

Initials reports on Egyptian state TV said six Muslims and three Copts had been killed, and there were nearly 200 injured. The death toll later rose to 10. The army, sensitive to alarm about deteriorating security, was quick to announce that 190 people arrested in connection with the violence would be tried in military courts.

Eyewitness described how several hundred Muslims massed outside the St Mina church demanding the woman be surrendered. Gunfire rang out and stones and petrol bombs were thrown before the army and emergency services were able to bring the situation under control. A second church was burned down. Read more

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