At least two Copts were injured and seven homes burned when angry villagers ran amok after a rumoured affair between a married Christian man and a Muslim woman in Minya, 250km south of Cairo.

According to local Christian sources, scores of Muslims ransacked and torched several properties belonging to the Copts of al-Karam, Abu Qirqas, on the evening of 20 May.

An elderly woman, said to be the mother of the alleged Christian lover, was stripped of her clothing and paraded near her home.

Law enforcers arrived hours late, despite being informed three days earlier of threats against Ashraf Attiya, 31, and his family by the Muslim woman’s estranged husband.

Egyptian newspaper Youm7 quoted the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Minya as saying that “no fair-minded person can tolerate such conduct,” and urging authorities not to “stand idle” but to bring wrongdoers to justice.

Police have arrested five suspects, but the situation remains tense.