Tensions between Muslims and Copts in Qena Governorate's al-Marashda Village turned violent after a Muslim family accused a Coptic resident of sexually assaulting their four-year-old child, Egypt Independent reported.
Muslim residents of the town destroyed the shop owned by the accused, as well as three other shops belonging to other Coptic residents. The vandals then gathered in front of the village church to protest against the alleged abuse.
Salah Mazied, the head of the Qena Security Directorate, sent security forces to the scene. The forces dispersed the crowd and set up a security cordon around the church.
The alleged victim is to undergo a medical examination, and the accused perpetrator has been arrested pending investigation.