US condemns latest wave of Muslim-Christian violence

The United States Embassy has condemned the violence that broke out in Cairo on Sunday outside the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral and the clashes that led to them in Qalyubiya on Friday.

Four people were killed in Qalyubiya’s Khosous as Muslims and Christians engaged in armed encounters. The events were reportedly sparked after a group of boys had spray-painted derogatory graffiti on the walls of an Islamic school.

Following a funeral service at the cathedral, the office of Orthodox Church head Pope Tawadros II, the procession was assaulted by unknown attackers, which sparked further battles leading to the death of two and the injury of 89, according to the Ministry of Health.

In its statement, the US Embassy welcomes President Mohamed Morsy’s decision to launch an investigation into the events.

“Ambassador Patterson and the entire staff of the Embassy convey our deepest condolences to the friends and families of the Egyptians – both Christian and Muslim – who were killed or injured in the recent violence in Khosous and Abassiyya”, read the statement published on the Embassy’s facebook page.

“It is the responsibility of the state to protect all of its citizens,” it concluded.

The European Union too has voiced concern over the recent violence. "I am extremely worried about the violent incidents at the Abbasseya Coptic Cathedral in Cairo. On hearing the news I immediately contacted the presidency, strongly urging restraint and for the security forces to control the situation," Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said in a statement.

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