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THE MIDEAST

Muslim man sentenced to death in murder of two Christians in Egypt

 

An Egyptian court reportedly sentenced a Muslim man to death Monday for the killing of two people during clashes in a Christian community in November 2011.

Mahmoud Abdel-Nazir was found guilty of raiding several homes in the village of Ghaizrat and killing two people, who were identified as Christians by the Egypt Independent.

The killings appear to be retaliation for an attack on Abdel-Nazir's brother, who was beaten to death with an iron rod during an argument with a Coptic Christian man over the use of a village street, Reuters reports.

Abdel-Nazir and several others attacked houses and shops belonging to relatives of the Christian man, according to Reuters. Two were killed during the attack and two others reportedly were injured. Several buildings were set on fire.

Tensions have been rising between Christians and Muslims in Egypt since the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. His successor, President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, has pledged to protect the rights of the country's Coptic Christians.

Christians in Egypt have reported an increase in attacks on churches by radical Islamists and sectarian clashes often flare into violence in rural areas, according to Reuters.

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