- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 7, 2010

CAIRO (AP) — Witnesses and security officials say relatives of seven people killed in an attack on churchgoers leaving a midnight Mass for Coptic Christmas smashed ambulances in riots outside a southern Egyptian hospital to demand the bodies be turned over for burial.

A security official says police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd Thursday. The official and witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Three gunmen in a car sprayed automatic gunfire into a crowd leaving a church in the town of Nag Hamadi, about 40 miles from the ancient ruins of Luxor. The lead attacker is identified as a Muslim.

The release of bodies could be delayed for fear the funerals will turn into a flashpoint for more violence.

TWT RELATED STORY: Coptic girls being abducted

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