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Egypt: Copts continue protests against church burning

ultimo aggiornamento: 08 marzo, ore 16:55

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Cairo, 8 March (AKI) - Coptic demonstrators on Tuesday blocked a main road in central Cairo to protest the burning of a church south of the capital. The church was set ablaze by a group of Muslims on Saturday reportedly following a dispute between two families over the romance between their Muslim daughter and Christian son.

Eyewitnesses said thousands of protesters held a sit-in in front of the public radio and television buildings close to Tahrir Square, forcing passers-by and drivers to change their routes, according to Egyptian daily Al-Masry al-Youm.

Protesters also parked cars in the middle of the road, while others lay on the ground to hinder traffic, according to witnesses. Security forces fired in the air to force passers-by to change direction after clashes took place.

Although sectarian clashes between Muslims and minority Christians ebbed in the wake of uprisings which led to the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak on 11 February, sporadic incidents like the burning of a church and killing of a Coptic priest have raised fears that tensions are being reignited.

Thousands of Copts travelled to Cairo from several governorates on Monday to stage the open-ended sit-in in front of the TV building. The same day, Egypt's ruling military council promised to rebuild the torched Helwan church in its original location, according to state TV.

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