MINYA, Egypt (AFP) “” A Coptic Christian was killed by a stray bullet during an overnight gunfight between Christians and Muslims in a town in southern Egypt, a security official said on Saturday.
A Christian and a Muslim were also wounded in the shooting, which took place in Al-Tayeba, near Minya, some 230 kilometres (140 miles) south of Cairo.
The dead man was identified as Yeshua Gamal Nashed, 28.
The cause of the violence was unclear, but the official said it appeared to be linked to reports that a Christian woman in the village was selling a property to a Muslim.
Of course, Egyptian “officials” (predominantly if not all Muslim) have a long history of being less than honest when it comes to why Muslims and Christians quarrel — such as in the Abu Fana monastery raid, which officials insisted was also prompted over land and property (yet, oddly, the Muslim raiders spend a good deal of time denigrating Christianity, including trying to force monks to convert to Islam and spit on the cross).
Al-Tayeba, 75 percent of whose 30,000 residents are Christian, has been cordoned off and several arrests have been made, the official said.
How ironic: even in those few regions in Egypt where Copts outnumber Muslims, during “sectarian clashes,” it’s still the Copts who die.
Egypt’s Copts — the largest Christian community in the Middle East — account for an estimated six to 10 percent of the country’s 80 million inhabitants.