Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi condemned the deadly clashes of sectarian violence at the headquarters in Cairo of the Coptic Christian pope. He ordered a rapid probe into the problem. Morsi said that any attack against the cathedral was an attack directed at him, in a statement that was released by the new agency MENA.
The new probe follows violent clashes that took place after a funeral held for Copts that were killed in sectarian violence. Two people were killed and the news agency said another 17 were injured during the violence that took place on Sunday.
Television coverage showed police in riot gear firing tear gas canisters into the crowd in order to disperse them. On Friday, the sectarian violence, which is the worst to take place in months, killed one Muslim and four Christians in El Khusus, located north of the capital. Members of the two communities started to shoot at each other said witnesses.
On Sunday, new clashes started when over a hundred Copts who had been in attendance at a funeral service spilled into the Cairo streets chanting they would sacrifice themselves for the cross with their blood and soul.
The protesters threw rocks at police, smashed six cars and then set two of them on fire, which prompted Muslims to react angrily and start throwing stones at the Christians.
Confrontations between Muslims and Christians have increased in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak, the former president was ousted in 2011. The new president has given freer rein to Muslims that are in the majority in the country, especially hardliners.
On Monday, the situation was still tense.