CAIRO: Muslims students stoned Coptic Christian churches and homes in a southern Egyptian village on Saturday after four Muslims suspected of killing a Copt were kept in custody, police said.
The unrest began when the prosecutor extended the detention of the Muslims in the village of Dayrut, located in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Assiut, who are suspected of killing an elderly Copt last week, a police official said.
Stone-throwing Muslim students and Copts clashed before police deployed in the town, the official added.
The men in custody had allegedly sought to attack the Coptic man’s son, who was dating a Muslim girl and was rumored to have passed out a CD with explicit pictures of her. Instead they found only the father and killed him.
There have been conflicting reports as to whether 60-year-old Henry Attallah was killed at home or in the street.
Egyptian Christians, known as Copts, make up an estimated 6-10 percent of Egypt’s 78 million people. They generally live in peace with the Muslim majority although clashes and tensions do occur, mostly over land disputes, church construction or interfaith romantic relationships not tolerated by both sides.
Many Copts complain of discrimination, but the government insists Christians enjoy the same rights as Muslims. -Agencies