‘Two dead, church torched’ in Egypt

‘Two dead, church torched’ in Egypt sectarian clash

ICC Note:

Two men were killed in the village of Sol, south of Cairo over a romantic relationship between a Christian boy and a Muslim girl. After the funeral of the girl’s father, a group of angry Muslims set the village church on fire, AFP reports.

3/6/2011 Egypt (AFP) – Two men were killed during clashes in Egypt between Muslims and Christians, which also saw Muslims set fire to a church in the village of Sol, south of Cairo, a security official said on Saturday.

“Two people were killed, and the Shahedain church set on fire in clashes between two families,” the official told the MENA news agency.

The violence was triggered by a feud between the families, which disapproved of a romantic relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman in the province of Helwan.

It culminated in fighting on Friday in which both of the couples’ fathers were killed, another security official said.

After the funeral for the woman’s father on Saturday, a group of Muslims headed to the village church and set it on fire.

Romantic relationships between Muslim and Christians are taboo in Egypt, and marriage between a Christian man and a Muslim woman is illegal unless the man converts to Islam.

Copts, who make up 10 percent of Egypt’s 80 million people, have been targets of sectarian attacks and complain of discrimination, such as the requirement for permission to build a new church.

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