Eight Christians injured as radical Muslims burn down three homes in Egypt

People walk on a street in Egypt's Southern governorate of Minya, Egypt April 12, 2017. | Reuters/Amina Ismail

A mob of radical Muslims has reportedly burned down three homes and injured eight Christians in Egypt's Minya Governorate following a prayer service on Thursday.

According to International Christian Concern (ICC), the Christians in the town of Kom el-Loufy were attacked after they held a prayer service at a local Christian's home.

"We asked local security authorities to grant us a permit [to] hold prayers and they agreed. They granted us a permit to hold these prayers and the security forces came to secure the mass," an anonymous Christian eyewitness told ICC.

The witness said that they were on their way to their home when they were attacked by a mob of Muslims.

"They hurled stones at our homes and set fire on three houses owned by Christians named Issa Saroufim, Marris Botros and his father, Faris Faris," the witness recounted.

Kom el-Loufy is home to approximately 1,800 Christians, but the village does not have a local church.

Another Christian witness who wished to remain anonymous claimed that the attack occurred in the presence of security forces.

"All these attacks occurred despite the presence of police in the village. There are eight big cars from the central security and more than 15 police cars.I don't know why the police haven't arrested anyone who attacked us until now," the witness said.

A similar attack took place in June 2016, when radical Muslims looted and burned down the homes of Christian brothers after rumors circulated that one of them was building a church in the village.

Egypt is currently under a state of emergency following the bombings of two churches on Palm Sunday. At least 45 people were killed in the attacks that were carried out by suicide bombers in Alexandria and Tanta.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombings and has warned of more attacks to come. The terror group also took credit for the suicide bombing of St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo in December 2016.

Christians in Egypt have faced intense persecution from radical Muslims over the past year. In February, hundreds of Christian families were forced to flee from the Sinai town of Al-Arish after seven Christians were murdered in the town in less than a month.

Several churches in Minya have canceled Easter celebrations as a mark of respect to the victims of the twin Palm Sunday bombings. It is traditional for the Coptic community to attend Easter services on Saturday and visit family on Sundays.