A fight between two families took a sectarian turn on Friday night, resulting in one dead and dozens injured in Alexandria. A feud between a Muslim and Copt in the neighbourhood of Dakhila in western Alexandria escalated into clashes on Al-Gaish Street, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
The altercation reportedly started between a Christian and Muslim man when the Copt allegedly sexually harassed the Muslim’s sister. As relatives and friends of each of the men got involved in the fight, Molotov cocktails and automatic weapons were used.
The one fatality in the clashes, according to Chief of Investigation in Alexandria Major General Nasser Al-Abd, was Sherif Sedqi Saad who died of a heart attack. The security authority also stated that police managed to prevent attempts to break into the Church of the Virgin Mary in the neighbourhood, saying that security forces managed to protect the church and prevent any damage from being inflicted on it.
Dozens were injured in the fighting, and the Ministry of Interior arrested eight people according to Reuters.
The clashes come more than a month after sectarian violence killed seven in Al-Khasous, a town in Al-Qaliubiya.
In January sectarian violence flared up in the Qena village of Al-Marshada after a Coptic shop owner was accused of molesting a young Muslim girl. Christian-owned stores and the village’s church were attacked.