In the latest episode, Four Christians and one Muslim were killed Friday when members of both groups started shooting at one another in Khusus, outside the Egyptian capital, the officials said.

The state news agency MENA put the death toll at four.

The violence broke out late Friday when a group of Christian children were drawing on a wall of a Muslim religious institute, the security officials said. No other details were immediately available.

MENA quoted a Christian official as saying that unidentified assailants had attacked a local church during the clashes and set parts of it on fire. The police had stepped up security at the church after Muslim youths began gathering in the area.