Two Egyptian Christians Killed

Two Christians have been shot dead by Muslim villagers in southern Egypt in what is believed to be a revenge killing.

The two Christians had just been released from prison after serving three-year sentences for killing a Muslim man during a sectarian clash, according to Reuters.

The killers were relatives of the Muslim man. They attacked the Christians on Saturday after an Easter service in the town of Qena. Coptic and Orthodox Christians marked Easter a week after Catholic and Protestant Christians.

Police are said to be looking for four gunmen. One other Christian was seriously injured in the attack and was taken to hospital.

The south of Egypt is less developed than areas such as the capital Cairo and is often the scene of vendetta attacks between different clans.

Conflicts between Christians and Muslims flare up occasionally, usually as a result of disputes over land or family issues.

However, recently sectarian violence has been on the rise as Christian-Muslim relations have been strained by conversions to Christianity and government opposition to recognizing the conversions.

Around 10 percent of Egypt's population of 80 million people are Coptic Christians. Egypt has the largest Christian population in the Middle East.