CAIRO, May 28 (UPI) -- Police in Egypt arrested five people after a mob of Muslims allegedly stripped naked a 70-year-old Christian woman and forced her to walk through the streets.
The incident, which CBS News reported, came as tensions flared between Coptic Christians and Muslims in the province of Minya over the issue of mixed-religion romantic relationships.
Al-Masry Al-Youm reports the elderly woman's son was believed to have been having an affair with a married Muslim woman.
The bishop of the local diocese said the elderly woman at first did not want to bring more attention to the incident, but after three days came forward to make a complaint to police.
According to Anba Makarios, the top Christian cleric in Minya, the woman "tried to conceal what had happened, like women who are raped or harassed, but she could not tolerate the feeling of oppression and humiliation more than three days. So she decided to courageously report the incident to the police."
At first, Makarios said police were reluctant to make an official complaint after the incident.
Makarios said police were also deliberately slow to quell the violence, allowing a reported mob of 300 people more than two hours to beat and scream at the woman before marching her through the streets. In response to the woman's harsh treatment, several buildings were burned down by Copts in the village of Karam Abu Omair.
In all, police said seven homes, three Muslim and four Christian, were burned down and two Christians were injured in the violence. Tarek Nasr, the governor of Minya, met with Christian religious leaders and pledged anyone responsible would be brought to justice.
Christians are a minority in Egypt, making up about 10 percent of the total population, though they are 35 percent of the population in Minya.
Police are looking for an additional 10 suspects.
In Egypt, it is illegal for Christian men to marry Muslim women, but not for Muslim men to marry Christian women.