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Egypt military warns against sectarian strife

ICC Note:

“Egypt’s military rulers warned on Sunday of strong measures against anyone inciting sectarian strife, in a bid to ease tensions between Muslims and Christians,” Agence France-Presse reports. Salafis, an ultra-conservative Islamic group that adheres to Wahabi doctrine, has been largely responsible for attacks on Christians in recent weeks.

5/1/2011 Egypt (AFP) – Egypt’s military rulers warned on Sunday of strong measures against anyone inciting sectarian strife, in a bid to ease tensions between Muslims and Christians.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power after president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in February, said it was “exerting all efforts to end sectarian disagreements on the Egyptian street to protect this nation.”

On Friday, around 2,000 Salafis protested outside the Coptic Church’s headquarters in Cairo to demand the release of two women they allege are being held after converting to Islam.

The church denies the women converted to Islam.

Their cause was picked up by an al-Qaeda-linked group in Iraq that massacred dozens of Christians in a Baghdad church in November 2010 and vowed more attacks until the two women are freed.

Two months later, a suicide bomber killed more than 20 Copts after a New Year’s Eve mass in Egypt’s coastal city of Alexandria.

In the central province of Minya, security was boosted last month after a Christian-Muslim family dispute sparked deadly clashes, prompting Muslim residents to burn homes and shops owned by Coptic Christians.

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