Christians, Muslims clash over new church in Egypt

AP News
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Posted: Jun 25, 2011 4:40 PM
Christians, Muslims clash over new church in Egypt

A security official says Christians and Muslims have clashed in southern Egypt over the construction of a church.

A local security chief, Assem Hamza, says Muslim residents of the Awlad Khalaf village rallied Saturday outside Christian-owned land where construction of a church was under way.

Hamza said the construction was illegal. Security forces deployed as Muslim residents, including ultraconservative Salafis, moved in with bulldozers to try to bring down the construction.

Hamza said Christians fired gunshots and the two sides scuffled. Three Muslims were shot, including one in serious condition. A Christian has stab wounds.

Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt's population and complain of attacks by increasingly assertive Salafis.