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Coptic Christians

It began at dusk with a report that a 5-year-old Muslim girl had been raped by a Coptic Christian grocer and spread like hellfire through this dusty desert oasis. By midnight, villagers said she had been both raped and murdered. As Easter Sunday dawned, it was widely believed the deed had been perpetrated by a Coptic priest. Authorities tried desperately to quell the rumor. The little girl's family paraded her through the streets, assuring the populace that she was indeed alive and unharmed.
October 13, 2011 | By Amro Hassan, Los Angeles Times
In an attempt to stem widening criticism of their grip on power, generals in Egypt's ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said Wednesday that soldiers were attacked by mobs and did not intentionally kill Coptic Christian protesters this week. The generals' comments at a news conference were the first public statements by the military on the incidents Sunday, when clashes between thousands of Christian demonstrators, thugs and military police left 22 Coptic protesters and three police officers dead and more than 300 people injured.
October 9, 2011 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Amro Hassan, Los Angeles Times
At least 22 people were killed in clashes between military police and Coptic Christian protesters in the latest eruption of violence highlighting Egypt's deepening sectarian divisions since President Hosni Mubarak was driven from power in February. In the bloodiest unrest since last winter's uprising, authorities said, three soldiers and 19 protesters were killed Sunday when Copts threw Molotov cocktails at riot police outside the state Radio and Television Building in downtown Cairo.
January 11, 2011 | By Amro Hassan and Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
An off-duty policeman opened fire aboard a train Tuesday in southern Egypt, killing one Christian and wounding five less than two weeks after the New Year's Day bombing at a church in Alexandria that killed 25 Coptic Christians, according to the state news agency. There were few details on the incident and it was unclear whether the shooting was sectarian related. The state news agency, MENA, quoted an Interior Ministry official as saying a Muslim police officer boarded a Cairo-bound train in the town of Samalut in Minya province and began firing a handgun.
December 11, 2011 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
Fears and worries murmur like prayers beneath the hammered crosses of the Church of the Virgin Mary. "The whole country will collapse," says Shenouda Nasri. "I'm trying to get my family out," says Samir Ramsis. "This is the Islamists' time," says George Saied. A caretaker sweeps the stones, a woman slips into a pew. But these days Egypt's minority Coptic Christians are finding little serenity. Islamist political candidates, including puritanical Salafis, are dominating parliamentary elections.
May 16, 2011 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Amro Hassan, Los Angeles Times
Scores of mostly Coptic Christian protesters were injured when their weekend demonstration blocking a street near the heart of downtown Cairo was attacked by motorists and residents as riot police stood by, prompting new questions about the ability and willingness of Egypt's military-led government to maintain security. The attacks came hours after an explosion at the tomb of a Muslim saint in the northern Sinai town of Sheik Zweid and a week after sectarian clashes left 15 dead and 200 injured.
October 18, 2011 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
In keystroke bursts of poetry, defiance and humor, Egyptian activists are posting their wills on Twitter. The electronic missives, vibrant with immediacy and edged with wit, specify how organs should be donated and small sums of money spent. One activist asked that his picture not be posted on Facebook so as to spare his mother pain. Another sought to calm the country's deepening sectarianism by arranging for a grave in a cemetery shared by Christians and Muslims. "Bury me in the grassy island in [Tahrir]
September 15, 2012 | By Mona Shadia and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
About 60 Southern California Muslims gathered Friday evening at the intersection of Barranca Parkway and Jamboree Road in Tustin to mourn the loss of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the three others killed earlier this week in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The vigil was organized by a young Syrian American, who, along with some friends, wanted "to show that what happened in Libya does not represent us as Muslims," said Lilah Khoja, 21. "Even more important, we should stand by and honor the great Christopher Stevens, who did a lot for the Libyan people.
January 23, 2011 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The Egyptian government announced Sunday that it had "conclusive evidence" that an Al Qaeda-linked Palestinian militant group orchestrated the New Year's Day bombing outside a Coptic Christian church that killed 25 worshipers and agitated sectarian tensions across the country. Interior Minister Habib Adli blamed the attack on the Army of Islam, an extremist organization based in the Gaza Strip. The naming of foreigners as the culprit may help ease escalating tensions between Muslims and Copts, who make up about 10 percent of the nation's population.
October 12, 2011 | By Amro Hassan, Los Angeles Times
Egyptian Finance Minister Hazem Beblawi resigned Tuesday in protest of the military-led government's crackdown on Coptic Christian protesters this week that deepened sectarian tension and left 25 people dead and more than 300 injured. "Despite the fact that there might not be direct responsibility on the government's part, the responsibility lies, ultimately, on its shoulders," the state news agency MENA quoted Beblawi as saying. "The current circumstances are very difficult and require a new and different way of thinking and working.
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