Police have fired tear gas at protesters during the third day of violent clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt. The confrontations in Alexandria follow initial disturbances which began on Friday after a series of attacks at three Coptic Churches in the city. The violence broke out again on Saturday after the funeral of a Christian worshipper who was stabbed to death during Friday’s disorder.
More than a dozen people were injured. Witnesses say trouble flared again on Sunday following a service at one of the churches involved in Friday’s disturbances.
Egytian officials have blamed the attacks on a man with mental health problemsbut representatives from the Coptic community say more must be done to protect them.
The violence over the weekend is not the first time the two groups have come into conflict recently. Three people died in October last year after Muslim demonstrators attacked a church which had put on a play deemed as offensive to Islam.
Up to 10 per cent of Egypt’s 73 million people are Coptic Christians. The remaining majority are Sunni Muslims. Relations between the two communities have, in the past, been mainly peaceful.