Angry Muslims set fire to four Coptic homes in the Minya village of Koum al-Loufi, about 230km south of Cairo, suspecting a house would be turned into a church.

According to Coptic news site Wataninet, two Copts, Ashraf Khalaf and his brother Ibrahim Khalaf, were in the process of building new homes for their families when a rumour spread that one of the houses would be turned into a church.

Given Egypt’s restrictions on Christians building churches, police made the Khalafs pledge the houses would be used for residence and not for “religious rites”. Still the 29 June mob attack caused severe damages to three houses. Ibrahim Khalaf is reported to have said that the mob beat their children.

On 17 June, Coptic-owned homes in a village not far south of Alexandria were also burned by Muslims on suspicion that a premise under construction would be turned into a church.