Cairo, 20 thousand at funeral for victims of clashes between Copts and military
The crowd marched from the hospital to the cathedral in Cairo urging unity among Muslims and Christians. The army launches investigation into clashes that left 25 dead and 500 wounded.
The Cario (AsiaNews) - More than 20 thousand people attended the funerals of 17 of the 25 victims killed in clashes between Coptic Christian demonstrators and the army of the on 9 October. The funeral took place last night in the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo, where the priest in charge of the rite called the slain "martyrs who have saved the Church." Before entering the church the crown processed along the road that links the cathedral to the Coptic Hospital in the district of Rameses Abasseya district to cries of "Muslims and Christians are one." In a message to the community Coptic Patriarch Shenouda III announced three days of mourning and prayer to commemorate the victims.
Aida Mahrous, Coptic, 42, told the newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm: "the next regime will be the same as the previous one. Politics will never change. To solve our problems we need to show that Christians and Muslims are one people, because otherwise the government will remain a mass of corrupton. "
This morning, the emergency unit organized by the Supreme Council of the military has launched investigations to punish the officers responsible for the deaths. Eyewitnesses said the military turned angrily on the Christian mob gathered outside the headquarters of state television crushing people under the wheels of armored vehicles. The clashes erupted when some criminal gangs from the slums of Cairo attacked the demonstrators who were protesting against the destruction of a Coptic church in the province of Aswan (Upper Egypt). Local sources also accused the state TV of inciting Muslims to revolt against the Copts, inviting them to defend the values of Islam and the Arab spring.
The international community has expressed its concern inviting the army to clarify the facts. But the Copts accuse the U.S. and Europe of doing nothing and ask Western governments to put pressure on the military Council to act in defence of religious minorities. Yesterday, Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar University invited Christian and Muslim leaders to meet to put an end to incidents between the two communities.