The Coptic Orthodox Church issued a statement on Wednesday revealing the details of an incident that was characterised as sectarian strife that took place in Minya last week.
The church claimed that dozens of Muslims looted and torched houses that belonged to Coptic Christians.
The incident gained the attention of the church after on of the victims came forward on Wednesday to complain to church officials about what happened.
Soaad Thabet, 70, was forced out of her home by an angry mob on Friday, dragged in the street, beaten, and had her clothes ripped off, according to a statement by the archbishop.
The incident began when a rumor about an alleged affair between Thabet’s son, Ashraf, and a Muslim woman sparked tensions in Al-Karam village in Minya, leading to threats against Ashraf who subsequently left the village.
Thabet and her husband filed a report to the local police on Thursday over the threats to their son and the family. One day later, a group estimated at 300 people looted and torched at least seven homes belonging to Coptic families, according to the archbishop’s statement.
Archbishop Makarius said in the statement that six were arrested on Friday in relation to the incident and that investigations are underway.
Thabet accused the husband of the Muslim woman, his father, and brother of assaulting her, according to an interview she gave to Copts United website.
Pope Tawadros II said on Thursday that he has been following the incident and that he has contacted political leaders and security personnel who assured that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.