The fighting apparently started after a group of Muslims gathered to open up a mosque which was closed down by authorities late last month because of tensions between the religious communities.

Tensions in Nzerekore, a Christian enclave in the mainly Muslim country, rose last week after a row between a Christian woman and a group of Muslim men.

Some residents said the men had stopped the woman from using a road blocked for prayers and that the woman responded by hitting one of them with a shoe.

Other reports said she was accused of wearing indecent dress.

On Friday Christian youths took their revenge by trying to disturb prayers by driving motorbikes near a mosque.

Christians make up around eight per cent of the population in the West African nation.