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Sectarian Strife Breaks Out Over Rumours of Girl Converted to Islam

Sectarian Strife Breaks Out Over Rumours of Girl Converted to Islam

Clashes erupted between police security forces and Muslim residents, in a village in Luxor Governorate on Saturday, following a rumour claiming that the family of the Christian teenager was holding her forcibly after she had allegedly converted to Islam.

The security forces have used tear gas to disperse the Muslim villagers, injuring dozens of policemen and residents. Several were arrested on charges of protesting without permission.

According to the Muslim residents, 18-year-old Mariam has allegedly converted to Islam over a month ago, therefor is being held captive by her family. Her relatives deny these claims.

One of the residents told a TV reporter that they didn’t want to use violence, but they just wanted to know if she really converted or not.

Conversely, the family of the girl denied that Mariam had converted to Islam, saying that a Muslim young man was trying to convince her to convert and escape the village.

Mariam’s father spoke to media following the clashes, denying the rumours about his daughter’s conversion to Islam.

He further added that she is not staying home with him, but went to the Church as a refuge. Her father stressed that she didn’t obey the young Muslim man who threatened her.

Security presence has intensified and cordons were set up following the incidents.

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