CAIRO — Egypt's prosecutor general leveled severe accusations Thursday against 156 Christians, including explosives possession and attempted murder, following clashes with police over the building of a church.
One person died and 68 others were injured when security forces halted construction on a church citing violations of building permits.Angry Christians hurled stones while riot police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets near the church and later in clashes outside the governor's office.
The prosecutor general ordered a renewable 15-day-detention for those arrested, on accusations of sabotage, assault, possession of explosives and attempted murder of police.
Some 15 police officers were injured in the clashes. No one arrested or charged over the death of one protester, killed after being shot in the thigh according to forensic reports.
Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 80 million. They complain frequently of discrimination, though they generally live in peace with the Muslim majority despite occasional flare-ups of violence, especially over limits on church building.