Egypt’s military and Muslim Islamists have killed at least 26 people, and injured more than 200 mostly Coptic Christians as violence erupted in the streets of Cairo Sundat. The families of victims are now blaming the government for the bloodshed.
Accusing Egyptian generals of failing to protect them, Christians are venting rage and sorrow over the lives lost in Sunday’s clash with troops.
“My brother, my brother, they killed my brother,” cried a woman Sunday, according to Reuters. She was surrounded by thousands of other mourners in Egypt following the clash.
Mourners say that violence quickly escalated when military personnel commenced a crack down on their peaceful protest against a church attack last week.
U.S. President Barack Obama released a statement on the ordeal urging peace and compromise “so that Egyptians can move forward together and forge and strong and united Egypt.”
The Coptic Orthodox Church is the country’s largest Christian denomination, and it suffered numerous causalities Sunday night after its protest came under military siege.
As violence reached a peak a military vehicle was seen ramming into a crowd of Christians who were protesting the attack of their church in southern Egypt.
Christians have long complained about discrimination in the country dominated by Muslims, and violence has become more common in recent months, with strict groups such as Salafist and others that Mubarak had repressed now rising up.
The government in Egypt denies discrimination against Christians and has promised to address their concerns, but Christians are accusing the army of using excessive force during the demonstration, and of ignoring Islamist attacks against them.
With Sunday’s death total at 26, many Christians are convinced that the bloodshed is proof that the army and council leader Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi is overlooking their plight.
“Tantawi you traitor, the blood of Copts is not cheap,” Reuters reported relatives and other Christians as chanting.
“This is a time for the entire body of Christ to pray for the church in Egypt and the entire region,” said Dr. Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA. “It is also a time for all peoples of every religion to come together and work for true freedom, democracy and peace.”