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Dozens of Egyptian Coptic Christians Suffer Injuries in Attack

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 21st, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Thirty-two people suffered minor injuries in an attack in Cairo, Egypt. Hundreds of Coptic Christians, a persecuted religious minority in Egypt, took part in a march through city streets and were pelted with glass and debris. Among the injured were two police officers, according to Dr. Adel Al Dawi, a ministry of health spokesman. Except for one badly injured girl who remained hospitalized late Thursday, most of the injured suffered minor bruises and cuts and were treated and released.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The march was headed to Cairo's Tahrir Square to commemorate the deaths of Pro-Coptic Christian protesters killed in clashes in the Egyptian capital last month.

An ancient Christian Church, Coptic Christians make up about nine percent of Egypt's largely Muslim population. Clashes, coupled with general ill will between Egypt's Muslim majority and its Coptic Christian minority have been on the rise in recent months. There have been a number of violent incidents reported between the two groups.

The march was organized by the Free Copts Movements and the Blood of Martyrs movement, two of many new groups formed after clashes that took place on October 9 in the Cairo neighborhood of Maspero, which left 26 dead and 300 injured.

"We were marching peacefully with candles to commemorate the 26 martyrs of Maspero on the 40-day anniversary of the Maspero attacks, when several youth clashed," Sherif Doss, the head of the Egyptian Coptic Association said.

"Some residents started throwing rocks and glass bottles from the rooftops of buildings at the crowds, which left many injured," Doss added.

"Hundreds of police conscripts assigned by the ministry of interior to protect the march started firing tear gas canisters to stop the clashes between the unidentified men," Sameh Mina a Coptic protester, told television reporters.

"The Copts defended themselves and threw rocks back at the attackers until the police intervened," Mina added.

It is an Egyptian tradition to commemorate the dead on the 40th day after death. The clashes came just before a "million-man" protest scheduled for Friday in Tahrir Square against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

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