Cairo - One person has been killed in clashes at Cairo's
Coptic cathedral after funeral prayers for four Christians during which angry
Copts chanted against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, an official said.
Also on Sunday, fighting between Christians and Muslims
erupted anew in a town north of the Egyptian capital where sectarian violence
killed five people on Friday, including the four Coptic Christians, police
The bitter clashes underscore the simmering tensions in a
divided Egypt that has seen violent confrontations between Morsi's main
Islamist allies and a wide-ranging opposition.
They also highlight sectarian tensions that have been
brewing for several years.
Morsi, in a call to Coptic Pope Tawadros II, late on Sunday
condemned the violence.
He ordered "an immediate investigation" into the
clashes and condemned the clashes at the cathedral as "an attack on
myself", according to a statement published by the official MENA news
He also affirmed that "the protection of all citizens,
Muslims and Christians, is the responsibility of the state".
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief
who met with Morsi and other leaders in Cairo Sunday, said she was
"extremely worried about the violent incidents."
"On hearing the news I immediately contacted the
Presidency, strongly urging restraint and for the security forces to control
the situation," Ashton said in a statement.
Witnesses to the Cairo clashes said they began when mourners
were pelted with stones by residents of the area as they left the cathedral,
symbol of the Coptic community which has long complained of discrimination and