15 arrested after arson attack on Christian homes in Upper Egypt
Ahram Online, , Saturday 16 Jul 2016

Police have arrested 15 people after an arson attack on houses belonging to Coptic Christians in an Upper Egyptian village on Saturday, a security source said.

The defendants are accused of torching five houses in Abou Yacoub village in Minya governorate on Saturday, after rumours spread that a church was being constructed in the area.

They were arrested hours later, Al-Ahram's Arabic site reported.

The incident came 20 days after similar events had taken place in Samalout, also in Minya, when locals set on fire an under-construction building out of belief that it was a church.

Sectarian-motivated attacks on Christians are common occurrences in Egypt, with Minya, home to a large number of Copts, a particular hotspot.

In May, a mob attacked Christian homes in a village in Minya and stripped an older Coptic woman naked after an alleged affair between her son and a Muslim woman.

According to unofficial estimates, Christians make up roughly 10 percent of the Egypt’s 90 million people.