Egypt’s Pope urges Copts to end protests

The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, urged Christian demonstrators to immediately stop protesting in front of the State TV Building.

Copts have been protesting for nine days to object to the recent attacks by conservative Muslims on a church in Imbaba, northwest Cairo. The clashes, which led to 15 deaths and 240 injuries, followed rumors about a female Muslim convert allegedly detained in the church.

In a statement delivered to state TV on Sunday, Shenouda said "the situation has exceeded the expression of opinion," warning that the protests have been infiltrated by outsiders, which has led to battles and gun fights. "This will distort your image and Egypt's reputation, this sit-in has to be dispersed immediately", he said to the protesters.

"You are the ones to lose should demonstrations proceed – the rulers are growing impatient", he said.

Army and police forces regained control of the situation following fire bomb exchanges between unknown attackers and a number of protesting Copts in front of the State TV Building. Gun shots were also heard.

The incidents have resulted in 67 injuries and huge financial losses, including the torching of a number of vehicles, according to the Ministry of Health.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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