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.


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.