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Coptic diocese says hundreds assault church in Egypt

Coptic diocese says hundreds assault church in Egypt

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian Coptic Christian diocese says hundreds of Muslim demonstrators have assaulted one of its churches.

The diocese in Atfih said Saturday in a statement that the incident in Giza just outside Cairo took place after Friday prayers when demonstrators gathered outside the building and stormed it.

The demonstrators chanted hostile slogans and called for the church's demolition, the statement says. It says they destroyed the church's contents and assaulted Christians inside before security personnel arrived and dispersed them.

It also said the wounded were transferred to a nearby hospital but didn't elaborate. The church, yet to be sanctioned by the state, has been observing prayers for 15 years.

Christians constitute 10 percent of Egypt's mostly Muslim population. Sectarian violence occasionally erupts, mainly in rural communities in the south.