4 Jan 2011

Coptic Christians on high security alert

5:45 pm on 4 January 2011

Coptic Christian communities in both the Middle East and Europe are on high alert as they prepare to celebrate the Coptic Christmas on Friday.

Anti-terrorism police in France are investigating threats made against Coptic Christian churches in Paris, while Germany's Coptic community has asked the government there for protection after receiving online threats.

In Egypt, checkpoints have been set up after Coptics clashed overnight with riot police.

The security alert comes after 21 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a Coptic church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on New Year's Eve.