8 Jan 2010

Copts vent anger after slaying outside church

4:01 pm on 8 January 2010

Hundreds of Coptic Christian demonstrators in Egypt have clashed with security personnel, after six Copts and a policeman were killed in a drive-by shooting outside a church.

More than a thousand people had gathered at the hospital in the town of Naga Hamady to collect the bodies of six of the victims. The BBC reports that ambulances were smashed and stones were thrown at security forces as they vented their anger.

The deadly attack targeted Christians who had just been celebrating midnight mass on the Coptic Christmas Eve. The church was under police guard at the time.

The attack is thought to be in revenge for the reported rape of a Muslim girl, aged 12, by a Christian in November. Five days of riots followed the incident.

Naga Hamady is 64 kilometres from Luxor in southern Egypt.