There was another attack on Coptic Christians today as they marched through the Cairo neighborhood of Shoubra. Until the late 1960s, it was predominantly a Coptic district (today, some estimate, it is 40 percent Copt), which is why the rally’s organizers felt reasonably safe to march. Instead, Muslim activists attacked the demonstrators, some even threw Molotov cocktails. This news report claims seven were injured, while early accounts from the Ministry of Health indicate as that 29 Copts have been wounded, though local Copt sources expect many more.

It is not clear if Islamists are behind the violence, or just Muslim residents of Shoubra, though the presence of the Saudi flag may signal involvement of Salafist elements, which have enjoyed Saudi support over the years, even at the expense of the Muslim Brotherhood. Some observers speculate that the violence may have its roots in an unconfirmed report that an Islamist candidate in the November 28 parliamentary elections promised that, if he were elected in Shoubra, it would no longer be typically associated with Copts.

Elsewhere in Cairo today, demonstrators at Tahrir Square, ground zero of the January 25 Revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, are demanding that Israel return Umm al-Rishrash, or Eilat. The Red Sea resort, included as part of Israel in the 1947 partition plan, was captured by Israeli commandos in 1949.

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