Reconciliation agreement resolves Minya sectarian dispute

A customary reconciliation gathering on Tuesday overseen by police and military authorities has reportedly resolved a sectarian dispute that erupted Sunday in Minya, Upper Egypt. 

Christian and Muslim residents of the Hawarta and Farag Allah villages have clashed for three days, leaving one Christian dead, four Muslims injured and eight houses burned.

The encounters were fueled by a fight between a Christian car driver and a Muslim pedestrian in front of a mosque in Hawarta.

As the fight raged on, the Christian driver fired shots at the mosque, which enraged the congregation. Young people from the village chased the shooter to Farag Allah before fighting with its residents.

The reconciliation was attended by Minya Security Chief Mamdouh Meqled and Provost Marshal Ezz Eddin al-Husseiny, as well as many citizens from both villages. Christian clerics were absent from the meeting.

Both parties involved in the conflict signed an agreement to drop the lawsuits citizens raised against each other and to hand over violators to security authorities.

The agreement also contains a penalty clause carrying a fine of LE500,000 for anyone who violates the terms, which were drafted by Muslim and Christian villagers and signed by 20 witnesses, including the chiefs of both villages.

Meqled said enemies of the January revolution are trying to create chaos by exploiting minor, common problems. He urged attendants at the reconciliation meeting to maintain peace and security.

Observers and Egyptian revolutionaries have blamed Mubarak regime loyalists for igniting several sectarian conflicts following the January uprising.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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