Monday, December 17, 2007

Angry Muslims attack shops owned by Christians amid sectarian tensions in Egypt

CAIRO, Egypt - Angry Muslims attacked and destroyed shops owned by Coptic Christians today in southern Egypt.

A police official says the attackers hurled stones and set fire to several shops, smashed windows of a church and damaged two cars in the early morning hours.

Police detained 15 people suspected of taking part in the attacks in the town of Isna, located about 560 kilometres south of Cairo.

The riots followed reports that two Coptic Christians pulled down the veil of a Muslim woman in a car park on Saturday evening.

Muslim-Coptic tensions are commonplace in southern Egypt, mostly over land or church construction disputes.

Coptic Christians make up an estimated 10 per cent of Egypt's 76
.5 million people and generally live in peace with the Muslim majority.


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