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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Egyptian police clash with Coptic protesters

Al-MASRY Al-YOUM (Egypt)

Egyptian police on Tuesday fired tear gas to disperse Coptic Christian demonstrators protesting the killing of a 71-year-old Coptic man by a gunman who boarded a train in Upper Egypt and opened fire on Christian commuters, eyewitness said.

A Muslim policeman began shooting passengers aboard a Cairo-Aswan train as it entered Minya's Samalut Train Station en route to the capital, killing Fathi Ghattas and injuring five other Christians. A Samalut Train Station official said the incident occurred at 5:35 PM.

Eyewitnesses told Al-Masry Al-Youm that angry Christian protesters had hurled stones at security forces stationed outside Salamut's Good Shepherd Hospital, where injured victims are currently being treated. Some of the tear gas fired by police wafted into the hospital, eyewitnesses said.

Several local Coptic clergymen attempted to calm angry protesters in an effort to avert further escalation.

Hospital Director Mariam Salah said hospital officials had admitted five people suffering injuries.

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