Muslim gunmen on Wednesday gunned down seven Christians in southern Egypt as they were leaving a midnight Christmas Mass service. Egypt's Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7.
Another 10 people were wounded in what authorities appeared to brush off as an expected revenge attack for the alleged rape of a local Muslim girl by a Christian man in November.
Egypt's Christians minority (about 10 percent of the population) is regularly harassed and discriminated against by the Muslim majority. Often that tension boils over into open violence, though the media and Western governments usually ignore it in order to maintain strong ties with the Egyptian regime.