Sunday, July 5, 2009

Curfew on Egyptian villages because of religious violence

_41564186_copsix Clashes between Muslims and Christian Copts recently spurred Egyptian security forces to impose curfews on two towns in the governorates of Bani Swaif and Dakahlia.

In Kafr El Barbari in Dakahlia, mayhem broke out Tuesday after 18-year-old Mohamed Ramadan Ezzat, a Muslim, was apparently stabbed to death by John Emile Gerges, a Christian grocer, in a dispute over the price of a carbonated drink.

After Ezzat's burial later that same day, 25 people were injured as hundreds of angry Muslims attacked Gerges' and other Coptic residents' houses, throwing stones and trying to set the homes on fire. The violence spurred many to flee the town, which is inhabited by about 1,000 Copts and 3,000 Muslims.

Most Copts are staying at home in fear of other possible attacks. After the incident, dozens of security vehicles, firefighters and ambulance personnel formed a security barrier around the town as police forces tried to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the village. Security forces attempted to intervene to bring peace between the town's Muslim and Coptic leaders, and financially compensating Ezzat's family was being suggested as a possible resolution to end the conflict.MORE HERE

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