Tuesday, March 08, 2011

As many as 6 Copts killed in Egypt

From Bikya Masr:

Conflicting reports are coming out of Egypt on Tuesday evening concerning violence and death in a Cairo neighborhood between Coptic Christians and religious conservatives who allegedly attacked a peaceful demonstration.

According to eye witnesses in the Manshiyet Nasr area – a poor shantytown on the outskirts of the city – at least 6 people have been killed, and over 200 injured from live ammunition and blasts that caused bricks to fall on people.

One eye witness, Talaat Ibrahim, told Bikya Masr that the army was responsible for the shooting and killing of Coptic demonstrators.

However, Masrawy news website, reported that the military intervened to end the clashes, which are still ongoing, between what they called “Salafist young people” and the Copts.

The exact details remain murky, but the violence and deaths have been confirmed.

The army has been reported to say that the situation is “under control.”

“At least 12 vehicles and four homes have been burned, all Coptic homes, by the angry Muslims,” said Ibrahim.

Egypt’s Copts took to a main thoroughfare that connects downtown with suburbs late in the afternoon, blocking the road. The army then arrived and told them that they could not block the Autostrad.

The Coptic demonstrators agreed to the order and unblocked the road to allow millions of Egyptians passage. The protest, however, continued.

“In less than 45 minutes a group of young people from areas such as Abagiya, the Cairo Citadel, Sayyeda Aisha and Basateen, began arriving,” Ibrahim continued.

These groups of young people, he said, began with around 500 people, but within an hour had grown to nearly 3,000. They began to attack the Copts with glass and bricks, forcing the military to intervene.

While the army was closing in on the protesters, it began attacking the protesters with live ammunition, Ibrahim said he witnessed.
As CAMERA asks, how long will it take before these escalating attacks start getting real coverage?