Monday, 9 May 2011

Egypt in turmoil again after attacks on two churches

Egyptian Christians are holding a protest near Cairo's Tahrir Square following an attack on two churches in which 12 people died. More than 180 people were injured in clashes on Saturday 7th May after the attacks reportedly carried out by conservative Muslims in the Imbaba area.

The protesters have voiced their anger over the army's inability to protect them; however, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces says it has detained more than 190 people involved in the violence who will face military trails, and added that the move should act as a "deterrent" against further violence.

Egypt's Prime Minister Essam Sharaf postponed a visit to the Gulf to hold talks about the most recent troubles within the country. Speaking shortly after the meeting Justice Minister Abdel Aziz Al-Gindi warned that those involved in the violence will face "an iron fist". He added that the government would "immediately and firmly implement the laws that criminalise attacks against places of worship and freedom of belief", allowing for the death penalty to be applied.

The authorities are promising tougher measures religious attacks but it is yet to be seen whether or not those measures will be implemented. Egypt is undergoing security problems since the departure of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, with the discredited police staying out of communal conflicts.

Sources: BBC News, Bloomberg, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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