Egypt mob lynches teenage son of an Islamist leader

CAIRO (AFP) - An angry Egyptian mob has lynched the teenage son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader, accusing him of killing a man over Facebook comments critical of the Islamist movement, security sources said Saturday.

The violence that took place on Thursday in the Nile Delta was the latest in a spate of vigilante killings in the region amid growing lawlessness since the 2011 revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

Yussef Rabie Abdessalam, 16, pulled out a gun and opened fire indiscriminately, killing a passerby and wounding another after a heated argument with a man who had openly criticised the influential Brotherhood on the Internet, the sources said.

His action sparked fury in Qattawiya, a village in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya, where Yussef's father, Rabie Abdessalam is an official at the local branch of the Justice and Freedom Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood of President Mohamed Morsi.

An angry mob surrounded the Abdessalam house seeking revenge, but the family refused to give Yussef up and hurled stones from inside the residence at the protesters.

A man outside the house was fatally wounded.

Police tried in vain to contain the violence and attempted to evacuate the Abdessalam family but the mob set fire to the house and in the confusion grabbed Yussef and lynched him.

The mob beat him up "and dragged him across 500 metres (yards) to his death," the Freedom and Justice Party said on its Facebook page.

"This is not a political incident," the Islamist party said, calling on all sides to show restraint.

But a security source and local media said the violence was triggered after comments hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood were posted on Facebook.

There have been several reports of lynchings in Egypt in recent months.

In March, villagers in Sharqiya province beat up a man and then lynched him, accusing him of car theft days after residents of another town strung up two men accused of kidnapping a girl.

Crime rates have increased across Egypt since the uprising and a police officer reported in March that at least 17 lynchings had taken place in Sharqiya since 2011.

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