18 detained in Minya sectarian clashes

Upper Egypt's military prosecution ordered on Tuesday the detention of 18 people for 15 days pending investigations into sectarian clashes in Minya on Monday that killed two and injured four others.

The detainees are facing charges of murder, rioting, damaging public utilities, and spreading panic among citizens, according to judicial sources. If convicted they will face five to 15 years in prison, the sources said.

The dispute started between a Christian family and a Muslim family in Abu Qurqas on Monday, when the latter objected to the erection of a speed bump in front of the house of a Coptic former National Democratic Party member. 

The confrontations renewed on Wednesday when two Muslims quarreled with a Christian neighbor, resulting in two hospitalizations. 

Police and armed forces worked on restoring stability, meeting with Christian and Muslim clerics and asking them to help placate the feuding citizens.

Christians make up an estimated 75 percent of Abu Qurqas’ population.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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