Christians continue protests in Egypt

Christians continue protests in Egypt

Hundreds of angry Coptic Christians have once again taken to the streets in Cairo to protest against a church explosion in Alexandria that killed 21 people, PressTV reported.

The protesters, who gathered inside the gates of the Coptic Pope's headquarters in Cairo on Sunday, hurled rocks at security forces and officials, including Egypt's minister of economic development.

Reports said that the demonstrators chased the minister to his car and banged on the windows of his vehicle.

Protesters also threw stones at Egypt's top Muslim cleric, Ahmed al-Tayeb. The protesters, mostly youths, were dispersed by riot police firing tear gas at them.

Almost 100 others were also wounded in the attack that came as the New Year's Mass had just on Saturday night ended and some worshippers were leaving the building.

The attack sparked angry street protests in the Mediterranean port city among Christians, who accuse authorities of not doing enough to protect the minority group that accounts for 10 percent of Egypt's population of 80 million.

Egyptian police say they have detained 17 people in connection with the attack.

President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday blamed "foreign hands" for the deadly attack, promising to stand up to terrorists and urging unity between Muslims and Christians.

Earlier, Pope Benedict XVI had called on the world nations to defend the Christians.

Pope's remarks were severely criticized by Ahmed al-Tayeb as an "unacceptable interference in Egypt's internal affairs."

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