- Middle East/North Africa
Dozens of Muslims performed Friday prayers in front of Imbaba’s Virgin Mary Church today to express their solidarity with the Coptic community in the wake of last week’s deadly sectarian violence.
Security forces surrounded the worshippers to protect them and the church. Traffic flowed uninterrupted along Wehda Street.
After prayers, the worshippers gathered in front of the church to chant against sectarianism. Protesters set up a platform with speakers in front of the church, and raised banners reading, “No to sectarian strife,” “Yes to national unity” and “One people, one country."
Opposition forces including the April 6 Youth Movement and the Democratic Front had called for today’s actions.
Four Christians and one Muslim were killed during sectarian clashes in the Qalyubiya Governorate town of Khosous last Friday. Later, official reports said a sixth victim’s body was found, and then a seventh victim died of his injuries on Thursday.
An attack on the funeral for the Christian victims at St. Marks Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbasseya neighborhood of Cairo on Sunday also left two people dead.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm