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Demonstrations across Egypt call for national unity

Egyptians take to the street en masse to oppose sectarian strife

MENA, Friday 11 Mar 2011

Demonstrations in several Egyptian cities, including Cairo, Port Said and Alexandria, marched Friday calling for national unity and condemning sectarianism.

Following recent events, which included the torching of a church in Helwan, thousands gathered in solidarity with Copts.

Apart from the major weekly Tahrir Square demonstration, the cities of Port Said and Alexandria have also taken the streets.

In Port Said, tens of lawyers rallied following Friday prayers chanting “Long live national unity” and accusing the old regime of being behind recent sectarian attacks.   

In Alexandria, hundreds marched in the city’s districts against sectarianism. Demonstrators marched from the Qaed Ibrahim Mosque following Friday prayers chanting “Build a church in front of a mosque” as the march passed by different churches in the city.

Moreover, Friday sermons across mosques in Egypt focused on the dangers of sectarian strife and stressed the importance of national unity, stability and safety.  

The demonstrations came after days of continuous sectarian violence that started with the burning of a church after a dispute erupted between two families over a romance between a Muslim girl and a young Christian man.

The incident escalated into clashes between hundreds of Copts and Salafists on Wednesday evening in Cairo’s district of Muqattam, leaving 13 dead and 110 injured.

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