Coptic Cathedral announces three days of mourning for Imbaba victims

Ahram Online, Sunday 8 May 2011

Mass funeral held for those killed during last night's sectarian violence in Giza neighbourhood

The Coptic Cathedral announced Sunday three days of mourning for Imbaba gunfire casualties, while bishops Theodosius and Uoua'nesm led mass funeral prayers in Giza.
Copts and Muslims exchanged gunfire, firebombs and stones Saturday in the rundown neighbourhood of Imbaba in Giza.

Initial media reports suggested that the hardline Salafists, who have hit the headlines for the wrong reasons since the January 25 Revolution, initiated an attack on Saint Mina Church, demanding the release of a woman they said had converted to Islam.

According to rumours in the area, the woman in question was passing by in front of Saint Mina Church with her husband before Christians kidnapped and locked her inside. The husband made a scene that drew the attention of the Muslim Imbaba residents, and hence the battle erupted.

A shouting match ensued between church guards and the Islamists, with residents becoming involved in the spat that soon developed into a fully fledged confrontation. Another church in the same district, The Virgin Mary, was set on fire by angry crowds later. At least 12 were killed and hundreds injured during the night of violent clashes.

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