Rioters arrested in Upper Egypt amid sectarian tension

Seventy Muslim rioters were arrested by authorities in the village of Fartoush in the Upper Egyptian province of Qena on Sunday. Protesters reportedly took to the streets after hearing rumors that a Christian man had raped a local Muslim girl. Those arrested were charged with destroying 15 shops, a pharmacy and a bus belonging to a local church.

"Some young Muslim men came to the rescue of four Christians that had been holed up in an apartment above a shop that had been torched by rioters," said local shop owner Hani Safwat, pointing to the sense of unity that existed between Muslims and Christians of the village.

In a related development, 19 other people earlier arrested for rioting were remanded into custody by police for 15 days pending investigation following incidents of sectarian strife in the village of Dayrout, also located in Upper Egypt. They were charged by authorities with destroying three local churches and a number of Christian-owned automobiles.   

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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