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CAIRO – A couple hundred Christian protesters clashed with police in southern Egypt after holding a demonstration on Tuesday in front of a police station demanding authorities locate an abducted housewife, a security official said.
The official says protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at a police station in Samalout town, in Minya province, wounding three policemen. The police arrested at least 33 protesters. The official says the demonstration was over the abduction of a 37-year-old Coptic housewife, who went missing two weeks ago.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Egypt's Christian minority has complained of a rise in kidnappings, armed robberies and assaults over the past three years, after the country was plunged into turmoil by the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's nearly 85 million people, have been targeted by Islamic militants either in kidnappings for ransom or in revenge attacks since the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 following massive protests demanding his resignation.
Coptic organizations have reported dozens of abductions since Morsi's July 3 ouster -- most in the south, where large concentrations of Christians are located near strongholds of Islamic groups.
Christians have long accused authorities of failing to do enough to protect them.