Curfew imposed in Cairo as 25 killed in riots

Cairo: Egyptian military rulers have imposed a curfew in Cairo`s iconic Tahrir Square area after 25 people, including three soldiers, were killed and 170 injured in the clashes between Coptic Christians and security forces here.

The violence broke out after Coptic Christians protesting against an attack on a church clashed with security forces, forcing authorities to declare curfew in the area. Central Cairo witnessed a demonstration by activists against the military rule while police augmented by special forces called on protesters to leave the area because they have been ordered to treat people breaking law and order with firmness.

The curfew, which began at 2 am (local time), will last till 7 in the morning. Despite chief of ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi issuing a decree to halt presenting civilians to military courts except in cases stated by the military law, people arrested in yesterday`s events might face military trials as they have attacked army members.

Protests in other Egyptian cities were peaceful in particular in Alexandira where thousands of Copts had surrounded a military area and torched cars nearby. Copts had organised the rally in Cairo to protest against last week clashes in Idfu in Aswan, Egypt`s furthest governorate south.

Muslims had allegedly attacked a building they claimed Copts were turning into a church, without the required permits. Nothing was done to prevent the issue from escalating as the governor confirmed the permits were not requested from the official bodies. In reply, the Copts published copies of the permits in newspapers signed by the governor himself.

The governor did not apologise but noted "he was suffering fatigue when he signed the papers and hence cannot remember."