An Egyptian court has sentenced 12 Coptic Christians to life imprisonment and acquitted eight Muslims, in a trial heavily criticized by human rights activists and legal experts.
The violence erupted when a Muslim minibus driver, angered by the presence of a speed bump outside a house owned by a wealthy Christian, got into a fight with the house's security guards. Upon returning to his home village, the Muslim driver assembled a group of people to get revenge for the alleged wrong and the violence suffered.
The retaliation squad was joined by groups of Islamic extremists, who surrounded the homes of Coptic Christians, intending to launch an attack. In fear of being overwhelmed, the inhabitants opened fire from the roofs of buildings, killing two people in the crowd and wounding two others. In the days following, Muslim groups torched dozens of Christian houses and shops to avenge the dead.