Thursday, December 27, 2007

Church of the Nativity Brawl

Cleaning the Church of the Nativity once again led to blows:
"Seven people were injured on Thursday when Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests came to blows in a dispute over how to clean the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

"Following the Christmas celebrations, Greek Orthodox priests set up ladders to clean the walls and ceilings of their part of the church, which is built over the site where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born.

"But the ladders encroached on space controlled by Armenian priests, according to photographers who said angry words ensued and blows quickly followed.

"For a quarter of an hour bearded and robed priests laid into each other with fists, brooms and iron rods while the photographers who had come to take pictures of the annual cleaning ceremony recorded the whole event.

"A dozen unarmed Palestinian policemen were sent to try to separate the priests, but two of them were also injured in the unholy melee."

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