A group of Muslims held weekly Friday prayers in front of the Virgin Mary Church in Giza's Imbaba district to express solidarity with their Coptic-Christian countrymen following last week's sectarian flare-up in Egypt's Qalioubiya governorate, in which six people were killed, including four Copts.
Egypt's 6 April Youth Movement (Democratic Front) called for the solidarity prayers to voice their rejection of sectarian violence and stress the importance of national unity.
Members of the group staged a small demonstration following the conclusion of Friday prayers, lifting a large banner bearing the words, "No to sectarian strife; yes to national unity; one people, one nation," Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website reported.
Violence broke out in Qalioubiya's town of Al-Khosous on Saturday after Christian children allegedly painted offensive drawings on the wall of a prominent Islamic religious institute.
In the ensuing violence, which raged for hours, guns were fired and shops and buildings set ablaze, leading to the death of four Christians and one Muslim in one of Egypt's worst sectarian flare-ups in months.
Violence erupted again on Sunday outside St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo's Abbasiya district, during a funeral procession for the four Christians killed in Al-Khosous. Police fired teargas to disperse the crowds and stop the violence.
Two people were killed and almost 90 injured in the melee, state news agency MENA reported.