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February 27, 2021

Clashes Grow as Egyptians Remain Angry After an Attack

Cairo – Thousands of angry rioters broke through police lines, pelting officers with rocks and bottles and beating them with makeshift wooden crosses in a third day of unrest set off by a bomb blast outside a church after a New Year’s Mass, which killed 21 and wounded about 100, The New York Times reports.
The fighting broke out late Monday in the densely packed neighborhood of Shoubra, home to many of Cairo’s Christians, when a crowd of hundreds of angry protesters suddenly swelled into the thousands and surged through the winding streets. Eventually, the throng — chanting “Where were you when they attacked Alex?” and “Oh Mubarak, you villain, Coptic blood is not cheap,” referring to President Hosni Mubarak — began battling with the police, who dropped their batons and shields to throw rocks and bottles back at the protesters.

It was the second time in two nights that the police in Cairo, outnumbered and overwhelmed by protesters, broke ranks and attacked the crowd. Even before the outbreak on Monday night, at least 39 riot police officers, including four high-ranking officers, had been injured trying to contain the protests. Egyptian authorities seemed uncertain at every level of how to contain the civil unrest unleashed by the bombing, outside Saints Church in Alexandria. They focused on the forensics, identifying 18 of the victims — 10 women and 8 men — and were examining a decapitated head thought to be that of a suicide bomber. The authorities also said they had detained suspects they believed could lead them to those responsible for the bombing.

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