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Egypt Christians Under Attack After Mursi Ouster, HRW Say

Christians in Egypt have been attacked several times since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, Human Rights Watch said, calling for a government investigation.

The worst incident occurred on July 5 when four Christians were beaten to death by a mob in a village near Luxor in southern Egypt, while police failed to intervene during 17 hours of violence, the New York-based group said in a report published today. It cited at least six attacks on Christians across the country since the military’s July 3 intervention.

“Authorities in Egypt should ensure that prosecutors promptly and impartially investigate allegations of sectarian violence,” HRW said. “Police officers who fail to act appropriately should be held to account.”

Christian and secular groups joined a wave of street protests that led up to Mursi’s overthrow by the army, calling for his removal on the grounds he was seeking to consolidate Islamist control of the country. Leading Christian clerics endorsed the army’s action.

Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood has refused to join the interim government installed by the military, and has held daily protests to demand his restoration. They have frequently escalated into violent clashes with Brotherhood opponents or security forces.

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