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Cairo: some 34 detainees, 55 injured in confrontation between the police, Copts
Egypt, Local, 12/10/2004

The Egyptian authorities announced it detained 34 Christians during demonstrations on allegations on kidnapping of a woman and forcing her to embrace Islam.

Security sources said that 55 persons including 24 policemen were injured in clashes took place on Wednesday at the entrance of the Coptic cathedral in Cairo. The sources added that the majority of the injuries took place because of throwing stones from inside the cathedral complex at the policemen and the passersby.

Hundreds of Copts are organizing an open sit-in in the Cathedral demanding the authorities to bring back wife Wafa Qistantin to her husband the minister of Abu al-Matamir village in al-Buheira governorate to the northern west of Cairo. The protesters said that Muslims kidnapped the wife and forced her to embrace Islam, while the security officials said she had left her husband at her own will. The confrontations took place in the first hours of yesterday morning when the church authorities notified the protesters that the woman is under its control and they have to disperse. The security sources said that the police permitted the protesters to leave the square of the Cathedral in small groups but detained 34 Christians suspected to have had attacked the police.