One dead, 4 injured in sectarian clashes in Egypt's Qalyoubia governorate

MENA, Ahram Online, Saturday 19 Apr 2014

Fight between Muslims and Christians erupts when two motorists begin arguing over right of way in a crowded street; police later contained clashes

The wreckage of a burnt car is seen after sectarian clashes that erupted early Saturday in Qalyoubia governorate between Muslims and Christians and left to one dead and four injured (Photo: Al-Ahram)

One died and four were injured when sectarian clashes erupted early Saturday in Qalyoubia governorate over two motorists' right of way, state-run news agency MENA reported.

The clashes in the city of Al-Khosous resulted in the death of Romany Milad, who died from gunshot wounds.

The incident began in a dispute between a Muslim and a Christian over whose car would pass first in a crowded street. Clashes then ensued when the two called on their friends for support, ending in a shootout between Muslims and Christians using live bullets and birdshot, a security source told MENA.

Security forces were able to contain the clashes and then later remained in the area in increased numbers against a possible return of violence.

This is not the first time that sectarian clashes have erupted in Al-Khosous. In April 2013, clashes between Muslims and Christians left six dead and 22 injured.

One person was given a life sentence in December for his role in the clashes. Eleven other defendants were handed sentences ranging from 15 years in prison to fines from LE100 to LE50,000. Thirty-two others were acquitted.

The last instance of widespread sectarian clashes in Egypt occurred following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Numerous attacks against churches were reported nationwide. The major wave of attacks was triggered by the forcible dispersal of two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo on 14 August that left hundreds of the ousted president's supporters dead.

Amnesty International, the London-based rights group, said that upwards of 200 Christian-owned properties were subsequently attacked and 43 churches seriously damaged across the country, with at least four people killed.


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