(Mohamed Omar/European Pressphoto Agency)Egypt was reeling Monday in the wake of Sunday's deadly round of protests in Cairo, which claimed 24 lives. Seventeen of the fatalities were members of the country's Christian Coptic minority; the clashes arose as Egyptian state television falsely accused peaceful Coptic protesters Sunday of attacking the country's security forces, and urged mobs onto the streets to protect the country's army and police.
Sunday's incident marked the worst violence Cairo has seen since the onset of the so-called Arab Spring earlier this year. Popular protests in the city's central Tahrir Square led to the ouster in February of the country's long-standing authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak.
The shocking outbreak of violence erupted after Egypt's Copts staged a reportedly peaceful demonstration Sunday. Copt believers were protesting recent threats of violence against their church, which represents one of the oldest Christian civilizations in the world.
Egyptian state-run media reports claimed that Christian demonstrators were attacking the police and military and urged the country's population onto the streets to protect the security forces.Read More »from Cairo reeling after clashes kill 17 Christian Copts