Coptic Christians took to the streets in Egypt following the New Year's eve attack and clashed with Muslims. Police were mobilized to control the mobs firing tear gas shells. After midnight on Saturday, an explosion outside a church in the northern port city of Alexandria killed at least 17 people. 

Meanwhile, Egypt's President, Hosni Mubarak said he would cut off the head of terrorism. Wicked terrorists targeted the nation, Copts and Muslims, the President said in his address to the nation on State television on Saturday.

Stating that a 'foreign hand' is being suspected in the bombing, he added, It is a terrorist operation that is alien to us... We will all cut off the head of the snake, confront terrorism and defeat it.

A car bomb targeting more than 1000 worshippers who gathered to mark the New Year in the Sidi Bechr district exploded. Coptic Christians took to the streets following the attack and clashed with Muslims. Police were mobilized to control the mobs firing tear gas shells.

Christians constitute about 10 per cent of country's population. In November last year, Christian protestors clashed with the riot police over a decision to halt the construction of a proposed church. The clashes resulted in the death of two Christians. An attack on a Iraqi capital Baghdad cathedral in October last year killed 50 people.

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI has said that he would organize a summit in Assisi with other religious heads aimed at promoting world peace. Pope who condemned attacks against Christians in the Middle East in his New Year's address, maintained that the summit could be held in October. This is the first such summit in almost 25 years.