Following a funeral for four Coptic Christians who were killed in outbreaks of sectarian violence, fresh clashes broke out Saturday and Sunday in Cairo between Muslims and Coptic Christians, killing four more Christians and one Muslim, Reuters reports.
Egypt's state news agency MENA said 17 people were injured Sunday when fighting broke out after the funeral ceremony at Cairo's Coptic Orthodox cathedral, when young funeral-goers began hurling rocks at police officers, a witness told Reuters. Six police cars were smashed and two were set on fire.
People at the funeral were heard to shout slogans against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who is not considered a friend to the community. Coptic Christians are Egypt's largest minority, with an estimated population of between 5 and 15 million. They have been the target of increased discrimination and sectarian violence in recent years, Human Rights Watch says, including the abduction, trafficking, and forced conversation of Coptic women and girls. Many Copts claim that their situation has worsened since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted two years ago and the right-wing Muslim Brotherhood took power.
The recent clashes are some of the worst sectarian violence seen in months, the BBC said.
Maya covers the U.N., Europe, and the Middle East for IBTimes. She joined the company in July 2012 after having previously worked with DNAinfo.com and Gawker.