A march to mark the fifth anniversary of the uprising against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has given way to violence.
About 500 people marched through Cairo hurling insults at the current regime under President Mohamed Mursi.
The protestors stormed a court, throwing fireworks and rockets, at which point they were met with tear gas by the police.
Fierce clashes between Christians and Muslims left five dead and eight wounded in a town close to Cairo.
Shops belonging to Christians were smashed and a Coptic day-care centre was burnt. A Muslim apartment was also burnt.
Residents said Christian children were found drawing on the wall of a religious Islamic building.
One Egyptian Christian said the reality was different: “Our message to officials is that Christians and Muslims are on the same page and what happened from a rift between the two parties shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. We’re all tired”.
But tensions have risen between Christians and Muslims since Mursi came into power. His alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood has given freer rein to hardline Islamists.
Although the number of deaths and injured from both sides has fallen, Christians and Muslims from Al-khosous assert that the incident is confined to two families and that it’s far from the sectarian strife that would only increase tensions, at a time when Egyptians are trying to treat their wounds and achieve unity.