Fresh Clashes Break Out in Egypt

As PM calls religious divide a 'threat to national security'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2011 2:00 AM CDT
Updated Oct 10, 2011 6:29 AM CDT
Egypt Prime Minister Pleads for Calm
Egyptian Coptic Christians clash with soldiers and anti-riot police during a protest in Cairo against the attack on a church in southern Egypt yesterday.   (Getty Images)

Fresh riots broke out in Egypt today, with hundreds of Christians throwing rocks at police outside a Cairo hospital where many of the victims from the previous day's massive clashes over the burning of a Coptic church were taken, the AP reports. Essam Sharaf called for calm in a television address at the site of yesterday's riots—in which 24 were killed and more than 200 injured—while blaming a “dirty conspiracy” of foreign saboteurs for the riots. “These events have taken us back several steps,” the Egyptian prime minister said.

Egypt's Christians say that sectarian divisions are growing worse, and their followers face rising discrimination from conservative Muslim groups, according to the BBC. Sharaf spoke out against religious division, calling it "a threat to the country's security," and said that the violence was "tampering with the relationship between the people and the army." Egypt's Cabinet is calling an emergency meeting today to address the problem, reports Reuters. (Read more Egypt stories.)

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