An Egyptian court has sentenced 23 men to 14 years in jail without parole over the killing of four members of the Shia community in 2013, judicial sources say.

Eight other defendants were acquitted of charges related to the lynching during Saturday's verdict, which the defence said it would appeal, the Reuters news agency reported.

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The four men, one of whom was a prominent religious leader, were killed in June 2013 when a mob stormed a house in a small village near Cairo, angry that a Shia religious ceremony had been performed.

Hassan Shehata and his supporters performed a ritual celebrating a revered religious figure inside his home in the village of Abu Nomros in Giza governorate, west of Cairo.

The crowd threw petrol bombs at the house, which caught fire, and the bodies of the victims were dragged through the streets.

Egypt is predominantly Sunni Muslim and Shia, who form only a small minority of the 90-million-strong population, keep a low profile.

The attack occurred weeks before Mohamed Morsi was toppled as president by the army.

Egypt has long been criticised by foreign governments and international rights groups for discriminating against its religious minorities, including Bahais, Shia and Coptic Christians.

Source: Al Jazeera And Reuters