24 Dead in Cairo Clashes

Violence erupts during Coptic Christian protest
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2011 5:12 PM CDT
Christian Protesters Clash With Muslims, Military During Protest in Cairo, Eypt
Protesters gather rocks during clashes with Egyptian security forces at a protest of a recent attack on a church in Cairo Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid)

(Newser) – Egypt suffered its worst rioting today since President Mubarak's overthrow earlier this year. Christians demonstrating against the recent destruction of a Coptic church in Cairo clashed with Muslims and security forces, triggering thousands to pour into the streets and leaving 24 dead, Al Jazeera reports. Thugs apparently sparked the fighting by attacking protesters with stones and pellets; then military vehicles plowed into the demonstration.

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"Thugs attacked us and a military vehicle jumped over a sidewalk and ran over at least 10 people," a protester said. State radio and television urged "honest Egyptians" to come out and protect the military, the New York Times reports. By late evening thousands of people fought sporadically in the streets, gunshots were heard, and security forces fired tear gas that sent protesters fleeing. Eventually the military cordoned off the area, and streets were left littered with ashes, stones, and shattered glass. (Read more Cairo stories.)

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