Egypt arrests 15 after attack on unlicensed Coptic church

Egypt arrests 15 after attack on unlicensed Coptic church
Egyptian authorities have arrested 15 people after clashes erupted at an unlicensed church south of Cairo.
1 min read
25 December, 2017
Authorities say 12 Muslims and three Christians were arrested in connection with the violence [AFP]

Egyptian security officials say 15 people have been arrested in connection with an attack on an unlicensed Christian church south of the capital, Cairo.

The officials said those arrested Sunday were 12 Muslims and three Christians suspected of involvement in Friday's violence.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Hundreds of Muslim demonstrators stormed the church after Friday prayers, according to the local diocese, who said they wrecked some of its fittings while chanting anti-Christian slogans and calling for its demolition.

Three Christians were wounded by the attackers.

Egypt's Coptic Christians comprise up to 10 percent of the country's 93 million people and are the Middle East's largest religious minority.

Sectarian violence occasionally erupts, mainly in rural communities in the south.

Egypt's Christian minority has often been targeted by Islamic militants in a series of attacks since December 2016 that left more than 100 dead and scores wounded.

The country has been under a state of emergency since April after suicide bombings struck two Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday in an attack that was claimed by the Egyptian affiliate the Islamic State group.