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Monday, 3 January, 2000, 23:51 GMT
South Egypt Muslim-Christian violence spreads

At least twenty Egyptians are now known to have died in clashes yesterday between Christians Aand Muslims in the southern village of al-Kosheh.

The interior ministry revised its death toll upwards after more bodies were found in homes and fields.

Another thirty people were wounded by gunfire -- opposing groups are said to have exchanged shots across the rooftops.

Nearly all the dead are Christians.

The local bishop said Christian shops and homes had been looted and set on fire and accused local security forces of not doing enough to protect them.

He said the violence had spread to other villages today, but the authorities say the situation is now quiet and a curfew is in force. Both the Coptic Christian leader, Pope Shenouda, and the government have sent delegations to the area to meet local leaders.

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