Cairo: People from the upper Egyptian governorate of Qena on Monday held protests for the third consecutive day against the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor. There protest has even halted the road and rail services.

Unrest continued to escalate in the province on Monday as the agitating mob demanded the appointment of Lt Emad Shihata Mikhail to be reversed.

The protesters, whose number is estimated to be over 15,000 severed the rail service and obstructed all trains coming from Cairo to reach any destination south of Qena, mainly Sohag and Aswan.

The protesters have also cut highways leading to Aswan in the south of Safaga to the east. Schools and universities in the region also witnessed high absence rates.

The main point of objection was that the newly appointed Governor had a role in shooting protesters during the 25 January revolution when he was security in-charge in Giza.

Salafists, a radical Islamist group in the country, have also chosen to join the protesters claiming a Christian should not rule Muslims.

Egypt's interim military rulers, who took control after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising, appointed several Governors including Mikhail last week as one of several new appointments to replace officials associated with the Mubarak regime.

Egypt's Coptic Christian community makes up around 10 per cent of the country's population that lives mainly in the southern part of the country.

(Agencies)