EGYPT: At least 19 people killed in Cairo clashes
REPORTING FROM CAIRO -- At least 19 people were killed in clashes between military police and Coptic Christian protesters Sunday in the latest eruption of violence highlighting Egypt’s deepening sectarian divisions since President Hosni Mubarak was driven from power in February.
Authorities said three soldiers and 16 protesters were killed when Copts threw Molotov cocktails at riot police outside the state TV building in downtown Cairo. The chaos was further inflamed when thugs in plainclothes attacked Copts, some carrying crucifixes, as they marched along the Nile.
The bloodshed escalated quickly and jolted what had begun as a peaceful rally by Christians to protest the recent attack by Muslims on a church in southern Egypt. Witnesses said Copts began hurling bottles and rocks at security forces after military vehicles ploughed through the protesters as gunshots echoed overhead and crowds scattered.
-- Jeffrey Fleishman and Amro Hassan
Photo: Protesters clash with soldiers and riot police in Cairo on Oct. 9. Credit: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters