CAIRO, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A male demonstrator was killed in violent clashes between Egyptian police and hundreds of Orthodox Coptic Christian protesters in Cairo, officials said.
Violence erupted Wednesday following a decision to stop construction of a new church in the Giza area, al-Masry-al-Youm said.
A medical source told the newspaper at least two other protesters sustained serious injuries and 100 people were detained. A security official told the Radio France International Web site some 20 protesters were detained and a police officer injured.
RFI said the clashes occurred amid rising tensions between Muslims and Christians after Muslims set fire to the home of a Christian man who allegedly flirted with a Muslim girl.
Noting the Christian population in Egypt comprises 10 percent of the country's 79 million population, the Egyptian daily said church permits are often the source of tension as Christians claim they are denied freedom of worship.
Authorities told the newspaper work on the church was stopped after it was discovered the necessary building permits had not been secured.
Members of the Christian community, however, rejected the claim, saying they had received the necessary permission to build the church but the machinery needed for the construction was being barred from the site, the paper said.