Egyptian Christians protest government

Egyptian Christians demonstrated in the town of Mallawi against what they said was government inaction in the face of repeated attacks by Muslims. One Muslim was killed and four Christians were wounded during clashes between the two communities.


One Egyptian Muslim was killed and four Christians were wounded and on Saturday in a clash over disputed land near a Christian monastery in central Egypt, security sources said.

Muslim Khalil Mohammed, 39, was killed by gunfire, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. At least two of the wounded Christians were monks at the monastery, the sources added.

The groups exchanged fire after Christians in the town of Mallawy, about 300 km (190 miles) south of Cairo, began constructing a wall around disputed land near the Abu Fana monastery, the sources said.

Muslims who believed the agricultural land belonged to them objected, triggering the exchange of fire.

Christians account for up to 10 percent of the population of Egypt and relations between them and the Muslim majority are usually harmonious. Disputes, most commonly over land, religious buildings or young women, sometimes lead to violence.

Fifteen people were injured and 35 detained last year in a nearby monastery in Minya province that also began over a land dispute.

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