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Egypt activists protest sectarianism at Alex Library, Cairo Cathedral

Maspero Youth Union stages protest at Bibliotheca Alexandrina to condemn recent sectarian violence as politically-unaffiliated protesters stage similar rally outside St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo

Ahram Online, Monday 8 Apr 2013

Dozens of members of Egypt's Maspero Youth Union in Alexandria staged protests against sectarianism at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina while independent protesters staged simultaneous demonstrations at St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo's Abbasiya district.

Two people were killed and at least 90 injured on Sunday when unknown assailants attacked mourners exiting the cathedral, where a funeral was held for four Coptic Christians killed in Saturday's sectarian clashes in the Qalioubiya governorate north of Cairo.

Early on Saturday, four Copts and a Muslim man were killed in Qalioubiya's city of Al-Khosous. The violence erupted after a group of Christian teenagers reportedly painted offensive drawings on the gates of Egypt's Al-Azhar building, state news agency MENA reported.

The situation escalated when an unknown individual fired a gun into the air, killing a young boy with a stray bullet, Reuters reported.

The Maspero Youth Union in Alexandria issued a statement on Sunday announcing its planned protest at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and condemning Saturday's clashes in Al-Khosous.

The group claimed that the state "allows thugs to control it" and fails to treat all citizens "as equally Egyptian."

Meanwhile, protesters in Cairo – who are unaffiliated with any political parties or groups – continued their demonstrations on Monday afternoon at St. Mark's Cathedral, where clashes took place on Sunday.

Protesters blocked Ramses Street, a main artery through central Cairo, on which the cathedral is located.

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