At least 24 people have been killed in violent clashes between a group of Coptic Catholics and Egypt’s military authority in the capital of Cairo. The religious group was protesting the burning of a church in southern Egypt when they say a military vehicle jumped the sidewalk and ran over ten peaceful protesters. In response, the Catholics began setting fire to vehicles parked in the street. Their actions instigated a response from the population at large as the conflict engulfed thousands and pushed into Tahrir Square.
What’s the Big Idea?
Since the Arab Spring brought down ex-president Hosni Mubarak last February, Catholics have been critical of the interim government for being too lenient in the face of attacks targeting the country’s Catholics. “Tensions are not uncommon between Copts and the country’s Muslim majority. In March, 13 people were killed in sectarian clashes around the Cairo neighbourhood of Manshiyet Nasser after a church was torched in the village of Sol, south of the capital.” Yesterday, Egypt’s leadership called an emergency meeting.