An angry mob of, as it seems, several thousand people has killed at least four Shiite Muslims in the village Zawiyyet Abu Musallam in the Egyptian Giza governorate, according to the head of the Giza security directorate. According to eyewitnesses, there were no less than 30 badly injured Shias who have been transferred to hospital. Also five houses were set on fire.
The death toll included 66-year-old Hassan Shehata, the most prominent Shia figure in Egypt, who was jailed twice under former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak for "contempt of religion." The lynching started when Shehata visited a Shia family in the village on the occasion of the night of the 15th of Shaaban, which is a night of prayer for Muslims and also the birthday of the last Imam of the Twelver Shia Muslims.
The police force came late according to eyewitnesses and did nothing to stop the attack and public lynching. "They were just watching the public lynching like anyone else and did not stop anything," said Hazem Barakat, a photojournalist and eyewitness. He said that Salafists had been stirring up the emotions against the Shias during the last three weeks.
Shi'as are a small minority in Egypte, although it has been the dominant religion in Egypte in the 11h and 12th centuries.w hen Egypt was governed by the Fatimid dynasty, which founded Cairo and built the Azhar mosque among other things.