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Britain summons Syrian envoy, warns of new sanctions

Last Updated: Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 00:08

Cairo: Egyptians rallied in thousands in
a mass show of unity at the iconic Tahrir Square on Friday, a week
after Muslim-Christian violence killed 15 people, and also
used the occasion to show solidarity with the Palestinians.

Activists had called for the Friday gathering after
the sectarian violence disrupted peace in the country.

The mass gathering came as the woman who had
indirectly sparked the dispute was arrested and charged with

26-year-old Abeer Talaat Fakhry was living with her
Christian husband in the southern city of Assiut when she ran
away from home, converted to Islam and informally married a
Muslim man called Yassin Thabet, Al Jazeera said.

Violence had erupted after the issue led to confusion
and rumours that she was being held in a church against her
will. Muslims surrounded the church and demanded that she be

The violence was been blamed on Salafists, members of
a hardline, puritanical Islamic movement.

The Friday gathering today aimed to condemn the
violence and showcase unity among Egyptians.

"If you attack a Christian, you`re attacking all
Egyptians," said a man speaking at the Square.

Many of those gathered had come to show their support
for Palestinian unity ahead of "Nakba day" marking the
creation of the state of Israel and displacement of thousands
of Palestinians.

Demonstrators celebrated the reconciliation deal
signed recently between Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian

People waved Palestinian flags and banners with
slogans for Egyptian national unity.

Meanwhile, a few hundred Coptic Christians also
demonstrated outside the state television headquarters,
calling for justice over the weekend`s sectarian violence.


First Published: Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 00:08
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