Thousands of Muslims, some hurling stones, clashed with police outside a Coptic Christian church Friday during a protest over a play deemed offensive to Islam, police said.
Twenty-five people, including police officers, were wounded in the clashes at the St. George Church in this Mediterranean port city, a police official said.
Earlier this week, a Muslim man stabbed and seriously wounded a novitiate nun in the church in an attack about the same issue.
Police used batons and tear gas to try to disperse the crowd Friday, and demonstrators responded by throwing stones, the official said.
The Associated Press estimated the crowd at 5,000 people at the height of the protest.
The protesters also hurled stones at the church itself, breaking windows and damaging the facade, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to issue press statements.
Chanting "No God, but Allah," the crowd condemned the distribution of a DVD of a play that tells the story of a young Christian who converts to Islam and becomes disillusioned.