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Clashes erupt after Christian man shot dead on train in Upper Egypt

Arab World Materials 12 January 2011 01:01
Clashes between security officials and protestors erupted Tuesday evening after a 71-year-old Christian man was shot dead on a train in Upper Egypt, dpa reported.
Clashes erupt after Christian man shot dead on train in Upper Egypt

Clashes between security officials and protestors erupted Tuesday evening after a 71-year-old Christian man was shot dead on a train in Upper Egypt, dpa reported.

The victim's wife and their two daughters were also wounded on the train that originated from Assiut and was traveling to Minya, towns in Upper Egypt with substantial Christian populations.

Security sources said the shooter, who was arrested at the scene, was not known to be affiliated with any terrorist group. Security sources have described the incident as "a random shooting."

Shortly after the shooting, violent clashes erupted between demonstrators and security forces outside the hospital where the injured family members were taken.

According to security sources in Egypt, police used tear gas to disperse the protesters.

Less than two weeks ago, Christians staged near daily protests after a bomb ripped through part of a Coptic church in the northern coastal city of Alexandria during an evening mass, killing 23 and wounding nearly 100.

Also on Tuesday, Egypt recalled its ambassador to the Vatican over "interfering" comments made by Pope Benedict XVI following the bombing of a Christian Coptic church in Alexandria. It was not clear how long the ambassador would remain in Egypt upon her return.

The pontiff spoke about Christians in Iraq and Egypt, and said that "the right to religious freedom is not fully respected when only freedom of worship is guaranteed, and that with restrictions."

Official figures estimate that Christians comprise between 10 and 15 per cent of Egypt's population.

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