Muslim protesters trying to storm a Coptic Christian church in southern Egypt
Police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Muslim protesters trying to storm a Coptic Christian church in southern Egypt Friday, the Associated Press reports. The crowd gathered after word spread that a Christian man sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl. Here’s AP:
Witnesses in Marashda village in the province of Qena said several shops and cars owned by Coptic Christians were torched overnight after Muslim villagers accused a merchant in his sixties of molesting the young girl.
Violence flared again after Friday prayers, with witnesses saying protesters surrounded the village’s central Abu Fam church, hurling stones and trying to storm it. Some climbed the church walls and destroyed a cross atop it. Police fired tear gas to scatter the crowd.
Qena security director Gen. Salah Mazid was quoted in state media as saying that police are investigating the accusations against the merchant, who turned himself in at a nearby police station.