Egyptian president sends delegation to church over recent sectarian violence

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sent Tuesday a high-level delegation to the country's top Orthodox church in Cairo to discuss the consequences of the recent sectarian violence, official news agency MENA reported.

The delegation to Saint Mark's Cathedral included Morsi's political adviser Bakinam al-Sharqawi, social adviser Emad Abdel-Ghafour and adviser for Egyptian expatriates affairs Ayman Ali.

The recent bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians killed at least eight people and injured over 100. The violence started Friday when a group of Christian children allegedly drew crosses on a wall of an Islamic institute in Khosoos town of Qalyubiya near Cairo, leading to tragic overnight confrontations that killed four Copts and a Muslim and injured several others.

On Sunday, clashes erupted outside Saint Mark's Cathedral in Cairo during a funeral held for Khosoos Christian victims, leaving one person killed and dozens injured.

The health ministry announced Monday morning the death of two other people, one in renewed clashes in Khosoos and the other in hospital due to serious injury from overnight clashes outside the cathedral.

The recent violence raised fears of renewed sectarian strife that would threaten national unity much needed for the country's democratic and economic transition.