CAIRO (AFP) — Egyptian villagers have set fire to Bahai homes after a member of the religion said on television the village was “full of Bahais,” the latest incident to reflect religious tensions in the country.
Furious villagers rampaged through Sharoniyah, near Sohag in southern Egypt, on Monday and Tuesday, setting fire to and damaging four Bahai homes, a security official told AFP, asking not to be named.
The fires spread to two Muslim homes which were also damaged, the official said.
The villagers also threatened the village’s roughly 30 Bahais with death, the official said, after which all of them fled.
Police have detained six people in relation to the attacks are are questioning them, and additional police have been deployed in the area.
The arson attacks were the culmination of unrest that began with stone throwing immediately after a Bahai named Ahmed called a television talk show that was discussing the religious minority on Saturday night.
Ahmed, who now lives in Cairo after fleeing persecution in Sharoniyah, described the village as “full of Bahais,” which showed that Egypt’s around 2,000 Bahais are not just a minority in Cairo.
Several human rights organisations denounced the “criminal aggression” against the Bahais and called on the authorities to prosecute those responsible.
Sectarian tensions run high in Egypt, with sporadic violence erupting between M… >>>