Revolution group criticizes response to sectarian strife

A revolution youth coalition on Monday criticized security forces' response to sectarian clashes that erupted late Saturday in Imbaba and left at least 12 people dead and 240 injured.

In a statement, the 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition said the way security forces dealt with the incident "was negative and random." It called for civil trials for the perpetrators so that the public can know who was responsible.

Security forces arrested 190 people, both Muslims and Copts, and referred them to military trials. But eyewitnesses said military police arrived late and the clashes lasted about six hours.

The coalition also asked moderate Muslims to play an effective role in ending conflicts between Muslims and Copts. It stressed the need to establish a civil presidential council to rule the country instead of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Meanwhile, the Egyptian government vowed to deal with people who deliberately ignite strife.

Authorities in Gharbiya tightened security around 53 churches in the governorate after the clashes in Imbaba.

Alaa al-Bibani, Gharbiya's security chief, said a plan has been prepared in cooperation with the armed forces to protect Gharbiya's churches. He added that Gharbiya is safe and has not seen sectarianism or thuggery over the past few days.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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