Egypt:Muslims, Christians clash over prophet

Sectarian clashes broke out in the southern Egyptian province of Assiut after a Christian student posted a drawing of the Muslim prophet.

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2011, 18:21 PM IST

Cairo: Sectarian clashes broke out in the
southern Egyptian province of Assiut after a Christian student
posted a drawing of the Muslim prophet on the Internet,
officials said on Saturday.

The clashes, which spread to three villages, saw several
Christian homes burned and left five police officers injured,
a security official told a news agency.

On Thursday, dozens of Muslims tried to storm the home of
the Christian student after the drawing appeared online.

Police were called to the scene, arrested the student and
formed a cordon around the house to prevent clashes, Assiut
governor Abdelrahim Borei said.

But yesterday, a group of Muslims set fire to a shop
owned by the student`s father in a nearby village and another
group burned Christian homes in another neighbouring village
and clashed with its residents.

Borei has called for an emergency meeting with political
and church officials as well as with recently elected MPs and
members of ultra-conservative Salafi Muslim groups to try to
defuse tensions.

"The situation is now calm in the three villages. We have
deployed police in the areas in order to maintain order,"
Borei told state television.

PTI