May 30, 6:37 AM EDT

Egypt leader: Christian woman's attackers will face justice

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AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

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CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's president vowed on Monday to bring to justice members of a Muslim mob who stripped an elderly Christian woman naked and paraded her on the streets of a southern village.

The May 20 attack in the village of Karma in Minya province followed a rumor that the woman's son had an affair with a Muslim woman. The armed Muslim mob that assaulted the 70-year-old woman also looted and torched seven Christian houses.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said such attacks divide Egyptians. "We are all one and the law must take its course," he said in comments broadcast live on local TV.

Egypt's Coptic Christians, about 10 percent of the country's 90 million people, have long complained of discrimination by the Muslim majority. El-Sissi has, since taking office in 2014, amended election laws to allow more Christians into the national legislature and eased restrictions on building churches.

El-Sissi was speaking at an inauguration ceremony for a new housing project in Cairo for low-income Egyptians. The project is a substitute model for the shanty towns that ring the Egyptian capital, Cairo, and are often depicted in movies as violent, crime infested and morally degenerate areas.

El-Sissi used the opportunity to angrily demand an end to such cinematic depictions.

"The claim through movies that their residents are different is inappropriate, paints a negative picture and divides society," he said. "Those people are well bred and have morals and values ... We should not allow them (the movies) and they should not be produced."

It was not clear how the president's directive would be implemented since film-making is in the hands of private production companies. Egypt has a state censor who must approve the script of any new movie before it is shot, although cases where the censor rejected a script are rare.

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