Egyptian funeral ends in violence
Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013, 6:24 p.m.
CAIRO — One person was killed and more than 80 were injured in clashes at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in central Cairo on Sunday after a funeral service for four Egyptian Christians killed in sectarian violence with Muslims, state media said.
Christian-Muslim confrontations have increased in Muslim-majority Egypt since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 gave freer rein to hard-line Islamists repressed under his autocratic rule.
The state news agency MENA said 84 people had been injured in fighting after a ceremony in the cathedral, which was showered for hours with stones, gas bombs and birdshot.
Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds, but clashes continued late into the evening.
In some of the worst sectarian violence for months on Friday, four Christians and one Muslim were killed in El Khusus, north of Cairo, when members of both communities started shooting at each other.
Fresh clashes erupted on Sunday when hundreds of angry Copts came to the funeral service in St. Mark's Cathedral, chanting, “With our blood and soul we will sacrifice ourselves for the cross.” Some also shouted slogans during the ceremony denouncing President Mohamed Morsy for failing to protect Christians.
Morsy, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, condemned the violence, telling Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II in a telephone call that any attack on the cathedral “is like an attack on me personally,” MENA reported.
After an emotional church service in which relatives of the dead wept, young Christians chanted anti-government slogans and started hurling rocks at police officers outside the cathedral, a Reuters reporter said.
Some protesters, believed to be Copts, smashed six private cars and set two on fire, prompting an angry reaction from Muslims living in the neighborhood, who threw homemade petrol bombs and stones at them, a witness said.
“The Christians chanted slogans provoking the residents,” said Ahmed Mahmoud, a Muslim resident. “Then the clashes started; they threw stones at each other, and they (Christians) lit up a fire, and they shot at us with cartridge (birdshot) guns.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pro-Russian militants defy accord in eastern Ukraine
- In Egypt, government watchdog Genena hit by backlash in uncovering corruption
- 12 killed, 4 missing in avalanche on Mt. Everest
- Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
- 58 killed in attack on U.N. peacekeeping base in South Sudan
- Ex-Obama campaign strategists to battle each other in British election
- 7.2 earthquake strikes central Mexico
- Afghan officials say detainment of Taliban commander thwarts peace process