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.


    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.