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Violent clashes and protests continue for the third day between Egypt's Coptic Christians and security forces after an attack on a church in Alexandria on New Year's Eve, that left at least 21 people dead.

At the Vatican, Pope Benedict described the attacks as a "vile gesture of death".

Riots erupted on Sunday in Alexandria following a meeting with the country's leading Muslim figures, government officials, and Pope Shenouda III. 
 
The Egyptian government was quick to point a finger at foreign terrorist organisations who seek to drive a wedge between Muslim and Christian Egyptians.

Meanwhile, Coptic Christian leaders are asking the government to address grievances over discrimination. 

Is Coptic anger now aimed at the state? And will it encourage foreign intervention?

Joining the programme are Mustapha Kamel el-Sayed, he is a professor of political science at Cairo University, Bishop Angaelos, the the UK representative of the Egyptian Coptic Church, and Amr Hamzawy, the director of research at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, January 4, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera