At least 27 arrested in Egypt Christian-Muslim clash

Source: Reuters

* 27 arrested in Marsa Matrouh clash, police investigating * Fighting sparked by dispute over land * Fence built around land angered Muslim villagers (Adds information on arrest, dispute details) CAIRO, March 13 (Reuters) – At least 27 people were arrested in northern Egypt on Friday after fighting erupted between Muslims and Christians over land, security sources said on Saturday. At least 24 people were hurt in the fighting in Marsa Matrouh governorate, including women and children, security sources said. The dispute broke out after Coptic Christian villagers built a fence around land next to a church-run building, the state news agency MENA reported. Hussein Fekry, head of security at the governorate, said Muslim residents of the village objected to the fence which blocked a main road. “Security was able to control fires that erupted in three homes and two cars,” state governor Ahmed Hussein told Egyptian television. The Marsa Matrouh governor asked the priest of El Shahedeen church to remove the fence MENA said. Relations between Egypt’s Muslims and Christians, mainly Copts, are usually calm but can become strained and sometimes erupt into violence over issues such as inter-faith relationships and land. Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s roughly 78 million people. The rest are mostly Sunni Muslim. (Reporting by Ahmed Shalaby and Mahmoud Sadek; Writing by Shaimaa Fayed; Editing by Matthew Jones)
spotted by RS
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