- The Washington Times - Monday, June 24, 2013

A mob of at least 3,000 Sunni Muslims torched houses of Shiites in a small village near Giza, Egypt, on Sunday afternoon, killing four people, including a prominent Shiite leader, Egyptian media reported.

Police are evacuating the rest of the Shiite residents from Zawyat Abu Musalam, about 30 miles outside Cairo.

“For three weeks the Salafist sheikhs in the village have been attacking the Shiites and accusing them of being infidels and spreading debauchery,” Hazem Barakat, an eyewitness who videotaped the incident, told Ahram Online.

“I saw several Shias stabbed several times while they were being dragged in some sort of public lynching,” he added.

Officials confirmed at least four have been killed. Eyewitnesses reported at least 30 badly injured Shiites were transferred to hospitals, Ahram Online said.

Hassan Shehata, a prominent Shiite figure who was jailed twice under former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for “contempt of religion,” was among those killed, Ahram Online reported.

“We hold President Morsi responsible for this attack,” said Bahaa Anwar, a Shite activist. “There are not less than three million Egyptian Shiias who live in Egypt and last Saturday during the Syria solidarity conference attended by Morsi in the Cairo Stadium, Salafist sheikhs insulted Shias and incited hate against those Egyptian Shia citizens.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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