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Cleaning turns into a broom-brawl at the Church of the Nativity

Bernat Armangue / AP

A Greek Orthodox monk cleans the Church of the Nativity, believed by many to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011.

Oliver Weiken / EPA

Greek Orthodox members clean the floor of Church of Nativity, the traditionally accepted birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Dec. 28.

Oliver Weiken / EPA

Armenian clergymen scuffle with police and Greek Orthodox clergymen during the annual cleaning of the Church of Nativity, the traditionally accepted birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Dec.28. Several hundred clergy of different Christian sects, as well as some faithful, pitch in to clean the entire church, one of the oldest in the world, but with special care taken not to overstep one's boundaries and delicate cleaning responsibilities. The entire church is swept, dusted, cleaned with kerosene and covered in sawdust to soak up the flammable liquid as the church is cleaned of all the dirt accumulated in the past year and made ready for the next year's onslaught of pilgrims, clergy and tourists.

Bernat Armangue / AP

Palestinian police officers stand between Armenian Orthodox, left, and Greek Orthodox clergymen, not seen, during the cleaning of the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem, Dec. 28.

This annual cleaning of the holy site, turned into a brawl as Armenian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox clergymen screamed at each other and beat each other with broomsticks inside the Church of the Nativity, when the sides accused each other of crossing into each other's territory. Full story.

Police were called after scuffles broke out at a holy site in Bethlehem. Msnbc.com's Richard Lui reports.