Muslim-Christian clashes in Upper Egypt "not sectarian" - governor
Clashes which broke out Saturday near Upper Egypt's Abu Fana monastery were the result of a land dispute and were not sectarian, local Minya province governor Ahmed Diaa al-Din insisted Tuesday, dpa reported.
A Muslim man was killed and seven Coptic Christians, including five monks, were injured in clashes when the monastery began building a wall around a neighbouring property after receiving final approval earlier this year.
Al-Din told a press conference Tuesday that land disputes happened between citizens of all religions everywhere - and in this case there was no indication of a sectarian conflict.
Residents have claimed that agricultural land on which the wall is being built is theirs, and that the wall damages their crops.
Al-Din also referred to an angry protest by Copts who later gathered outside Mallawi hospital, throwing rocks at hospital windows and damaging surrounding property.
The governor said he understood that the group was just expressing anger, since the clashes occurred near their place of worship.
Coptic cleric Morcos meanwhile told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that Pope Shenuda - head of the Copts who account for an estimated 10 per cent of Egypt's 79 million population - would arrive in Cairo from the US Wednesday and was expected to make a statement.