Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi warned on Thursday against attempts to drive a wedge between Egyptians and vowed to holdviolators accountable amid a recent series of violent sectarian attacks in the country's south.
Speaking during a military graduation ceremony, El-Sisi urged national unity between Egyptians, saying Christians and Muslims are equal in rights and duties.
"We have to pay attention to all attempts being made to drive a wedge between Egyptians," El-Sisi said.
His comments come days after a Muslim mob stabbed a Coptic Christian to death during a street argument in the southern governorate of Minya.
Alluding to the incident, El-Sisi vowed that "whoever made a mistake will be held to account by law, starting from the president."
"It's a state of law," he added.
Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 90 million.
On Saturday, a group of Muslims attacked and set ablaze houses of Christians in the village of Abu-Yacoub, also in Minya, after acting upon a rumour that a Christian intended to turn a kindergarten into a church. At least 14 people were arrested over the assault.
In May, Muslim villagers torched seven homes of Christians and assaulted a Christian man's elderly mother, parading her naked in public. The assault in Minya's El-Karm village was sparked by rumours that the man was having an illicit relationship with a Muslim woman.
The incident sparked public outcry and prompted El-Sisi to vow to bring the attackers to justice.