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Neighbourhood fight turns sectarian in Egypt's Beni Suef, leaving 15 injured

Sectarian violence follows local argument between members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya and Coptic residents in a Beni Suef village

Ahram Online, Sunday 11 Aug 2013
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Sectarian clashes in Diabeya village in Upper Egypt's Beni Suef governorate Sunday afternoon left 15 injured and four houses and a church torched, reported Al-Ahram Arabic website.

The clashes erupted following a confrontation between a member of the ultra-conservative Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya Islamist group and a Coptic resident of the village. At the basis of the confrontation was an argument over a Copt who attempted to construct a road bump in front of his house.

Other members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya joined the fight against Coptic residents. Security forces intervened to end the clashes and civil defence forces controlled the fires.

On Wednesday, 16 rights groups issued a joint statement expressing "grave concern regarding the increasing sectarian violence that has targeted Christians and their churches since the 30 June uprising."

Attacks against Coptic homes and churches have been reported recently in villages in Upper Egypt’s Luxor, Sohag and Minya.

A Coptic priest was shot dead in North Sinai 6 July amid a spike in armed attacks by unknown militants against the military and police in the peninsula since Mohamed Morsi's ouster.

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