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Muslims, Christians fight for second day in Egypt

Written by: Staff
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ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, Apr 16 (Reuters) Muslims clashed today for a second day with Christians angered by the murder of a Copt in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, witnesses said. At least five were wounded when around 100 people began hurling rocks and bottles at each other in the city on Egypt's northern coast, where a Muslim stabbed six people on Friday, killing one of them in attacks at two churches.

A Muslim died early today from wounds received in Saturday's violence, a hospital source said. Mustafa Said Meshal, in his forties, had been clubbed on the head.

Around 30 other people were wounded on Saturday in clashes after the funeral of the 67-year-old Coptic man. Cars were torched and shop windows smashed. Police arrested 55.

The authorities say the man who carried out Friday's attack was mentally ill.

An Interior Ministry source said he was taking revenge for insults to the Prophet Mohammad, apparently a reference to cartoons of the Prophet published mainly in European newspapers.

Christian demonstrators in Alexandria said the authorities were trying to make excuses for what some Copts saw as increasing attacks on Christians.

Three people died in Alexandria in clashes with the police in October during protests by Muslims over a church play which they said was offensive to Islam.

Coptic Christians comprise between five and 10 percent of Egypt's 73 million people, most of whom are Sunni Muslims.

REUTERSCH KP2104

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