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Sheikh Incites Muslims to Attack Christians in Egypt

Assault on community center, church, homes leaves 24 Copts wounded.

3/17/2010 Egypt (Compass Direct News) – A mob of enraged Muslims attacked a Coptic Christian community in a coastal town in northern Egypt last weekend, wreaking havoc for hours and injuring 24 Copts before security forces contained them. The violence erupted on Friday (March 12) afternoon after the sheikh of a neighborhood mosque incited Muslims over a loudspeaker, proclaiming jihad against Christians in Marsa Matrouh, in Reefiya district, 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of Alexandria, according to reports. The angry crowd hurled rocks at the district church, Christians and their properties, looted homes and set fires that evening. The mob was reportedly infuriated over the building of a wall around newly-bought land adjacent to the Reefiya Church building. The building also houses a clinic and community center. “I was very surprised by the degree of hatred that people had toward Christians,” said a reporter for online Coptic news source Theban Legion, who visited Reefiya after the attack. “The hate and the disgust were obvious.” Following afternoon mosque prayers, Sheikh Khamis rallied neighborhood Muslims, gathering more than 300 people. The mob broke into groups, attacking the church and nearby houses of the Coptic Christian community.

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