8 held over Egypt Shiite killings
25 June 2013, 16:05
Cairo - Security forces have arrested eight people in
connection with the brutal killing of four Egyptian Shiites in a village south
of Cairo, officials said on Tuesday.
"Security efforts have been increased to find the rest
of the perpetrators after they fled their homes," a security official told
the national MENA news agency.
On Sunday, four Egyptian Shiite Muslims were killed when
they were attacked by a hostile mob in the village of Abu Mussalem in the Giza
A house where the minority Shiites were meeting was
surrounded by residents who told them to get out.
When they refused, a crowd of several hundred people stormed
the building and killed four Shiites and injured several others.
The attack came after weeks of toxic anti-Shiite rhetoric in
the Egyptian media and from Sunni Islamist leaders.
The office of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and the
cabinet both condemned the attack against "Egyptian citizens" without
mentioning the term "Shiite", highlighting criticisms by rights
groups of the lack of religious freedom in Egypt.
Shiites are estimated as a tiny fraction of Egypt's
population of 84-million, most of them Sunni Muslim. Shiism is dominant in Iraq
and Iran, a regional rival to Egypt, Lebanon and the conservative Gulf
Sunnis have traditionally opposed Shiism, which teaches that
many of the Prophet Mohammed's companions revered by Sunnis were corrupt and
usurped power from his rightful successor and cousin, Ali.