Two Coptic Christian children aged nine and 10 have been arrested and taken into police custody in Egypt, after allegedly urinating on pages of the Koran.

Mina Nady Farag and Nabil Nady Rizk were reportedly spotted by residents of the village of Ezbet Marco in the southern province of Beni Suef, while defacing two pages of Islam’s holy book beside a local mosque.

The local Imam Sheikh Ibrahim Mohamed brought the children to the Coptic church and asked the priest to punish them, according to local media.

As his request was turned down, Mohamed handed them to the police to be prosecuted for contempt of religion.

Reports suggest the police station was soon surrounded by a crowd of angry residents demanding justice be dispensed, as it was believed the children’s act had been planned by the Coptic community to incite religious hatred.

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