9 May 2011

Egypt crisis talks over fatal clashes

8:15 am on 9 May 2011

Egypt's prime minister has called an urgent cabinet meeting following clashes between Muslims and Christians in Cairo that left 10 people dead.

Essam Sharaf has postponed a visit to the Gulf in order to discuss the violence that left 10 people dead and more than 50 wounded, the BBC reports.

The clashes broke out after several hundred conservative Muslims gathered at a church in Imbaba district.

They alleged a woman convert to Islam was being held there against her will.

What began as an exchange of words between protesters, church guards and people living nearby developed into a fully-fledged confrontation involving gunfire, firebombs and stone-throwing.

The church and some nearby homes were set alight, and it took some hours for the emergency services and the military to bring the situation under control.