Copt killed in clashes after Egypt road accident


A Coptic Christian was killed and four Muslims were wounded in clashes in the southern Egyptian province of Minya after clashes triggered by a road accident, a security official said on Monday.

The violence erupted on Sunday night in the village of Fargallah when a Copt riding a motorcycle hit a Muslim pedestrian, the source said.

A brawl between the two men quickly turned more violent, with friends and relatives of the two hurling stones at one another and then engaging in hand-to-hand combat before guns were used.

A 51-year-old Copt, Maher Nassif, was killed and four Muslims were wounded, the security official said, adding that several Christian homes in the village were torched.

Gunmen also opened fire on worshippers praying at a nearby mosque, prompting a group of Muslims to attack Christian homes, the official added.

Police reinforcements were sent to restore order and several suspects were arrested in connection with the violence.

Sectarian clashes are frequent in Egypt where Copts, who make up 10 percent of the 80-million-strong population, have been the target of attacks and have repeatedly accused the authorities of systematic discrimination.

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