2 Copts killed in southern Egypt

2012-01-27 11:52
Cairo - Unknown assailants shot dead two Coptic Christians in a village of southern Egypt on Thursday, prompting an angry protest by more than 1 500 of their co-religionists, police said.

A police official said Muwad Hassaad and his son Hassaad Muwad Hassaad were gunned down as they were seated in front of their shop in the village of Bahgura, 600km from Cairo. The assailants fled the scene.

More than 1 500 Copts later gathered in the nearby town of Nagaa Hammadi to protest the killings.

In October 2011, 25 people, most of them Copts, died in clashes with soldiers outside the state television building in Cairo where they were protesting against an attack on a church.

Copts, who make up between six and 10% of Egypt's 82-million population, complain of systematic discrimination. Concern has grown over the triumph of Islamists in the first polls since Hosni Mubarak's fall last year.

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