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Mob torches Christian shops in Egypt ahead trial

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LUXOR, Egypt (AP) — A mob of angry Islamic extremists burned shops owned by Coptic Christians near the ancient city of Luxor on Monday, hours before a trial for a Coptic Christian accused of blasphemy, a security official said.

The official said saw the mob throw gasoline bombs at the shops in the village of el-Mahameed near Luxor. The official said authorities are investigating the attack.

The attack came hours before the start of a trial in Luxor for Kerolos Ghattas, a young Coptic Christian charged with contempt to Islam over a series of alleged Internet postings.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population.

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