Egypt Sectarian Riot Kills 17: Sources

Posted October 9th, 2011 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Egyptian sources say at least 17 people were killed Sunday when Coptic Christians protesting a recent attack on a church clashed with security forces in the capital, Cairo.

Rioters used gasoline bombs, set army vehicles on fire and battled with security outside the state television building in Egypt's latest sectarian flare-up. Hundreds of protesters clashed with police, some tearing up pavement and using rocks for ammunition.

Many Egyptian Christians blame Muslim radicals for burning a church in southern Egypt last week.

Christians make up about a tenth of Egypt's 80 million people and often face attacks from Islamic extremists. Copts joined with Muslims during the protests that ousted long-time president Hosni Mubarak, but sectarian troubles have since intensified.

Egypt has been considering new laws designed to stem sectarian violence, including banning protests at places of worship and the use of religious slogans to incite hatred.