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Egypt Warns Of 'Iron Fist' Response After Clashes

Coptic Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's population

Coptic Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's population

Egypt's government has warned it will use an "iron hand" to ensure national security after clashes between Muslims and Christians in Cairo killed 10 people and injured scores.

Justice Minister Abdel Aziz al-Gindi said authorities would "strike with an iron hand all those who seek to tamper with the nation's security."

Authorities said that 190 people will be tried in a military court over clashes that on May 7 unleashed the worst sectarian violence seen by the country since long-time Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces called the move a "deterrent" against further violence.

The violence between Egypt's Muslim and Christian communities left at least 10 people dead and saw the country's prime minister cancel his visit to the Gulf states in order to call an emergency cabinet meeting.

Reports say clashes broke out after a crowd of ultraconservative Salafists surrounded a church in western Cairo demanding that a woman rumored to have converted from Christianity to Islam be released, believing her imprisoned there.

The rumor regarding the woman, who was said to be married to a Muslim man, has not been confirmed.