Hisham Omar, Abdel Halim
Hundreds of protesters staged a “national unity” march from Al-Azhar Mosque to the Orthodox Cathedral in Abbasseya after Friday prayers. Another march coming from Tahrir Square joined the protesters in front of the cathedral.
The demonstrators raised the Egyptian flag beside the Quran and the Christian cross and chanted for national unity. They also chanted against the military’s reported use of violence in dealing with Coptic protesters last Sunday in front of the state television building, also known as Maspero.
Earlier in the day, some worshipers leaving Friday prayers attacked dozens of protesters who had gathered outside Al-Azhar Mosque to call for the march to the Orthodox Cathedral.
The protesters chanted “Muslims and Christians are one hand” and “Down with military rule,” holding the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces responsible for the deadly incident at Maspero that left at least 26 dead and hundreds injured.
The worshipers and protesters threw stones at each other. The worshipers chanted in favor of the ruling military council and a number of them chased protesters into Hussein University Hospital, where protesters regrouped and headed to the cathedral.
Thousands of Copts and Muslims staged a march to the Maspero building last Sunday to denounce an attack on a church in the village of Marinab in Aswan Governorate and criticize the government’s subsequent response to the violence. The ruling military council has refused to disclose the number of military victims in order to, as it says, “maintain troop morale.”
Translated from the Arabic Edition