Middle East News
Thousands protest after murder of Egyptian Coptic priest
Feb 23, 2011, 17:36 GMT
Cairo - Thousands of Coptic Christians demonstrated in the city of Assiut in Upper Egypt for the second day on Wednesday, after a priest was found stabbed to death inside his home, media reported.
Protesters demanded the arrest of the murderers chanting, 'With our souls and blood we sacrifice our lives to the cross,' the Daily News Egypt reported on its website.
Police found the body of Dawoud Botrous, pastor of Prince Tadros El-Shatbi church, in his home in Shatab village near Assiut on Tuesday.
Preliminary investigations indicated that he had been murdered two to three days ago in a possible attempted robbery.
People had grown concerned for the priest after he was absent from the church's weekly sermon on Sunday.
Over three thousand protesters marched through Assiut on Tuesday night after Botrous' body was found.
Some clashes erupted between Christian demonstrators and Muslim shopkeepers during the protests.
Official figures estimate that Christians comprise between 10 to 15 per cent of Egypt's population.
Religious tensions in Egypt have been especially high since a bomb attack on a church in the coastal city of Alexandria on New Year's Eve left 23 people dead.
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