Coptics flee Egyptian village amid clashes

Families seek refuge in neighbouring towns after argument leads to violent sectarian confrontations.

    Police have arrested nine people suspected of setting fire to the homes of Coptic Christians following the burning to death of a Muslim in the village of Dahshour last week.

    The spiral of violence began after a Coptic man who irons for a living and one of his Muslim customers got into a fight after the man accidently burned his client's shirt.

    The incident turned into a violent confrontation between Muslims and Christians in the village, south of Cairo, in which a Muslim in a crowd protesting about the argument died after being hit by a firebomb.

    Mobs attacked and looted Christian homes and shops in Dahshour, forcing almost the entire community out.

    Many found refuge in a monastery miles away from the village, with fleeing families accusing the police of being slow to act.

    Erian Aziz, a Christian tailor, said :"This spat should have never reached this level.

    Thugs capitalised on the situation and the government did nothing. We knew trouble was imminent, but police, instead of arresting troublemakers, encouraged us to leave."

    Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reports from Dahshour.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.