Middle East

Egypt: Clashes in Cairo as Christian protest attacked

Cars burning outside Egypt's state TV building in central Cairo - 15 May 2011
Image caption There are growing fears for law and order in Egypt

At least seven people have been injured in clashes at a Christian protest site in central Cairo, officials say.

The demonstrators outside Egypt's state TV building were attacked overnight, with shots fired, petrol bombs thrown and cars set alight.

The Christians were protesting against attacks on two churches last weekend in which 12 people died.

There has been an increase in sectarian clashes since former President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February.

The group of protesters was attacked after they reportedly prevented a man in a car from driving through the area.

A group of about 100 people charged the protesters, throwing stones and petrol bombs. Police said at least two of those attacked were wounded by gunshots.

The military intervened and order was restored after several hours of clashes.

"Cairo's security forces have managed to arrest one of the shooters and he is currently being questioned to know who his partners are and the motives behind such violent action," state news agency Mena said.

Coptic Christians make up about 10% of Egypt's 80 million population. They complain of discrimination at the hands of the Muslim majority.

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