At least 17 are dead on the streets of Cairo following the Army’s violent crackdown on Copts protesting their persecution by state and civilian groups.
Video posted to Youtube shows soldiers in riot gear rushing civilians in the Egyptian capital, beating some with their batons as they lay prone on the ground.
Protests were being organized around the country in response to rising violence, including the bombing of a Church at Aswan in Southern Egypt.
Sectarian confrontation has been mounting in the weeks following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarek, often referred to as belonging to the ‘Arab Spring’ that has put pressure on leaders in North Africa and the Middle East to share power or step aside.
Some claim the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, that holds power until elections can be held, is fanning the flames of hostility in order to further entrench its power.
Abdel Tawab Hassan, an activist, told the Daily News Egypt that the Army was responsible for the church attack, and wants to pass into law new powers to strengthen its hand.
According to AhramOnline the death toll is expected to rise as the confrontation develops through the night.