One dead as Muslims, Christians clash in Cairo (REUTERS) Reporting by Shaimaa Fayed; Writing by Marwa Awad; Editing by Matthew Jones CAIRO, EGYPT 03/08/11 5:09pm EST)
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(Reuters) - One Christian youth was shot dead Tuesday during a
protest between 1,300 Christians and Muslims who were throwing stones
and Molotov cocktails at each other, a security source said.
The fighting erupted when a group of Christians blocked a main
highway south of Cairo and clashed with Muslims who wanted to pass
through, a security source said.
Christians were protesting for the second day over a church in Helwan
on the outskirts of the capital that was set on fire Sunday after a
row sparked by a relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim
woman, witnesses and a security source said.
The army fired gunshots in the air to break up the riot but was
unable to quell the fight straight away, witnesses said. An army
statement said it "successfully handled riots Tuesday."
One 18-year old Christian was killed by a bullet that struck him in
the back but it was unclear who had fired the shot or whether it had
been aimed intentionally, the security source said. Some witnesses
said they saw protesters carrying weapons.
"They (the Christians and the Muslims) began fighting because people
in their cars wanted to pass through and the protesters had blocked
the highway," the security source said.
About 20 people were injured and five cars were burned during in the
latest sectarian flare-up.
In downtown Cairo hundreds of Christian protesters, carrying wooden
crosses and some wearing glow-in-the-dark crucifixes brought another
major highway to a halt.
There have been previous flashpoints between Muslims and Christians,
who make up about 10 percent of the 80 million population.
Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling military
council that is governing the country after Hosni Mubarak quit, said
the army would rebuild the church before the Easter holidays. (©
Reuters 2011 03/08/11)
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