Muslims and Christians clash in Cairo

Muslims and Christians clash in Cairo
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Sectarian violence in Egypt’s capital city has left one person dead and 23 wounded. Clashes broke out between Muslims and Christians in Cairo on Saturday. Police and soldiers in armoured vehicles were sent in to stop the fighting.

According to officials, some 500 conservative Muslims – known as Salafists – surrounded a Coptic church, allegedly attempting to free a Christian woman who wanted to convert to Islam.

Relations are often strained between the Coptic Christians and the mainly Sunni majority in Egypt. In January, 21 people were killed in the bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria, where 1,000 worshippers were attending mass.

Christians make up 10 percent Egypt’s population and often complain of unfair treatment. Though they worked alongside Muslims to oust President Hosni Mubarak, Christians fear increased persecution if radical Islam becomes more popular – which could happen if the Muslim Brotherhood party becomes stronger.

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