Muslims burned at least ten Christian homes in Southern Egypt over a rumor that a young Coptic Christian man and a Muslim girl were in a romantic relationship, said officials Tuesday.
Authorities have arrested several people suspected of being involved in the torching of Christian homes in Qena province that began overnight Sunday. They have also taken into custody the Christian man and Muslim girl that are at the center of the controversy for investigation. Locals caught the two together at night in the village cemetery, security officials told The Associated Press.
In Egypt, historically Christians and Muslims have generally lived peacefully side by side. They have lived integrated in neighborhoods and attended the same schools. But in recent years, there has been increasing division between the two communities. An increasing number of Christians are moving into all-Christian neighborhoods and attending schools run by the church.
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