Deadly clashes between Egypt’s Muslim and Christian communities late on May 7 have left at least nine people dead in the worst sectarian violence seen by the country since longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February.
The incident saw the country’s prime minister cancel his visit to the Gulf states in order to call an emergency cabinet meeting.
The violence began when a crowd of ultraconservative Salafists surrounded a church in western Cairo demanding that a woman rumored to have converted from Christianity to Islam be released, believing her imprisoned there.
The rumor regarding the woman, who was said to be married to a Muslim man, has not been confirmed.
Reports say the two sides then exchanged gunfire as well as fire bombs and stones, while police fired shots into the air and used tear gas to separate the two sides.
At least one church in the Imbaba district was set on fire, apparently due to firebombs, during the unrest.
Sectarian tensions are believed to have heightened in Egypt amid uncertainty about the country’s future.
Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population.
The above was here.