Egypt jails four over Shiite killings

An Egyptian court has sentenced four people to 14 years in prison for the 2013 killings of four Shiite men outside Cairo by an angry mob.

A mob of several hundred residents attacked a group of Shiites gathered at a house in the town of Abu Musallam in June 2013, after hearing a senior Shiite cleric, Hassan Shehata, was inside.

Villages threw Molotov cocktails and attacked Shehata and the other three victims, killing them with sticks and knives.

A previous group of 23 defendants were sentenced in 2015 to 14 years in prison for the killings.

Those sentenced on Wednesday had previously been tried in absentia and handed the same sentence, before being arrested.

Shiites are a tiny minority in mainly Sunni Muslim Egypt, making up less than one percent of the population.

Radical Islamist preachers have often targeted the Shiite community in sermons, accusing them of being under the influence of Shiite Iran.

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