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Muslims attack Christian-owned shops in Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, April 5 (Reuters) - Hundreds of Muslims pelted Christian-owned shops and a police station with stones in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria on Sunday after a Muslim man was killed, an eyewitness said.

A security source said the violence started after word of mouth reports a Muslim man, identified as Ahmed Abdel Razeq Gomaa, had been stabbed to death in the street by his Christian landlords.

Crowds of Muslims assembled near a mosque for funeral prayers for Gomaa chanting "They'll die, they'll die," in reference to the three Christian landlords, brothers Ayman, Atef and Farag Tagy, the witness said.

Police and security vehicles were positioned in the area.

Security sources said the Muslim man was the sole Muslim tenant in the building owned by the trio, and had been injured in an earlier fight with the brothers. One security source added that the three landlords had been detained over the death.

Christians account for up to 10 percent of Egypt's population. Relations with the Muslim majority are usually harmonious, but disputes over land, religious buildings or women sometimes lead to violence.

In 2006, there were three days of sectarian clashes in Alexandria after a Muslim stabbed a Coptic Christian to death. Authorities said the attacker was mentally ill. (Writing by Aziz El-Kaissouni; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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