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Oct 12, 2011 13:01
Category: Religious News

Finance Minister resigns over protester deaths in Cairo

  CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's finance minister has resigned to protest
the government's handling of protests that left 26 dead, most of
them Coptic Christian demonstrators.
     His resignation was the first by a senior government official in
the aftermath of Sunday night's clashes in Cairo.
     Overnight, some 20,000 mourners chanted slogans denouncing the
ruling military during a funeral procession for 17 Christians
killed in the protest. No state or military officials were present
at the funeral.
     Egypt's Coptic Christians, who represent about 10 percent of the
85 million people in the Muslim-majority nation, have long
complained that they are second-class citizens in their own
country. Violence against them in the eight months since the
uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak has reached the highest level in
decades.
     The Coptic church has accused authorities of allowing repeated
attacks on Christians with impunity. And Islamist extremists, known
as Salafis, have gained power and freer rein since Mubarak's
overthrow and are seen as instigators behind much of the violence
against Christians.