Egyptian PM calls emergency meeting after sectarian clash

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cairo - Egypt's Prime Minister Essam Sharaf on Sunday called an emergency cabinet meeting following sectarian clashes in Cairo which left nine people killed.

Nine people were killed and 144 injured in clashes that erupted outside Saint Mena Coptic Orthodox Church between Muslims and Copts on Saturday night in Cairo's Imbaba neighbourhood, Giza Governorate.

The incident happened in the Embaba district of Giza when angry Muslims headed to a church where a Coptic girl was held inside. Security and armed forces were deployed to disperse the fighting sects.

According to local media reports, the girl's marriage to a Muslim man sparked the confrontation, which involved firearms and violence.

Coptics, who account for about 10 percent of Egypt's population, generally live peacefully with the country's Muslim majority, but sporadic violence between the two sides do occur due to construction of churches or romantic affairs between worshippers of the two groups.