Thousands of Egyptians March in Cairo's Tahrir Square for Copt's Funeral

Mourners carry coffin of Mina Daniel, one of 26 killed in clashes between Coptic Christians and military police; Health Ministry says nearly 300 wounded.

Thousands of Egyptians marched in central Cairo's Tahrir square early Tuesday for the funeral procession of a young man who was killed in clashes between mostly Coptic Christians and government troops.

Mourners marched from the Coptic Hospital to Tahrir square carrying the coffin of Mina Daniel, who was among 26 people killed in the violence that took place in front of the state television building in Cairo late Sunday.

Egypt Coptic protest mourning – 10.10.11 - Reuters
Reuters

The Health Ministry said nearly 300 people were wounded.

Egypt's Coptic Christians begin a three-day fast on Tuesday to mourn the dead.

On Sunday, about 2,000 people had gathered in Cairo for an initially peaceful rally to protest at the destruction of a church in southern Egypt last month. Fighting soon broke out among the protesters, residents and troops.

Reports said that a group of people destroyed the Aswan church as Copts in the village were attempting to rebuild it without acquiring the required planning permit.

Local media said Tuesday the cabinet was reviewing a unified draft law on the legalization of unauthorized places of worship and could approve it within two weeks.

In terms of the draft, before building a church, a mosque or a temple, approval from the religious leadership is required before seeking a permit from the provincial governor.

The cabinet has also decided to toughen penalties against discrimination in the Penal Code.

Christians account for 10 per cent of Egypt's 80 million people, and tensions are not uncommon with the country's Muslim majority.