Se­nior Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader killed in shootout

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Egypt’s se­cu­rity forces killed a se­nior Mus­lim Broth­er­hood leader and an­other mem­ber of the out­lawed Is­lamist group in an overnight shootout at a Cairo apart­ment, the In­te­rior Min­istry said yes­ter­day. A min­istry state­ment car­ried by the state MENA news agency said 61-year-old Mo­hammed Ka­mal, a physi­cian by pro­fes­sion, was killed along with Yasser Sha­hata Ali Ragab in an ex­change of gun­fire as po­lice tried to ar­rest the two late on Mon­day night. But a Broth­er­hood state­ment posted on its of­fi­cial web­site shortly af­ter re­ports of the shootout sur­faced said Ka­mal had been ar­rested by po­lice, sug­gest­ing he was killed af­ter be­ing taken into cus­tody.

In July 2015, the Broth­er­hood made a sim­i­lar claim when se­cu­rity forces raided an apart­ment in a western Cairo sub­urb, say­ing nine of its mem­bers were killed af­ter they were rounded up. Au­thor­i­ties said at the time that the nine were armed and were meet­ing at the apart­ment to plan attacks. Ka­mal was wanted for his part in more than a dozen armed attacks, the min­istry said. He was twice sen­tenced in ab­sen­tia to life in prison for es­tab­lish­ing armed groups and for an ex­plo­sion near a po­lice sta­tion in the south­ern city of As­siut. He led sev­eral armed branches of the Broth­er­hood, the state­ment said.

Ka­mal was also wanted for plan­ning the June 2015 killing in Cairo of Egypt’s chief pros­e­cu­tor, Hisham Barakat - the first as­sas­si­na­tion of a top Egyp­tian of­fi­cial in 25 years. The gov­ern­ment had ear­lier im­pli­cated the Pales­tinian mil­i­tant Ha­mas group, ac­cus­ing it of train­ing in the Gaza Strip in­di­vid­u­als who car­ried out the as­sas­si­na­tion. Ha­mas has de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tion.

The state­ment ad­di­tion­ally said Ka­mal was be­hind the failed as­sas­si­na­tion of Egypt’s for­mer mufti, Sheikh Ali Go­maa, in Cairo in Au­gust. A lesser-known mil­i­tant group claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for that attack. Egypt has been car­ry­ing out an ex­ten­sive clam­p­down on Mus­lim Broth­er­hood mem­bers and other gov­ern­ment op­po­nents since the ouster in 2013 by the mil­i­tary of Mo­hammed Morsi, an Is­lamist pres­i­dent who hailed from the Broth­er­hood. Ear­lier, Ragab, the sec­ond Broth­er­hood mem­ber killed on Mon­day night, had been sen­tenced in ab­sen­tia to 10 years’ im­pris­on­ment for as­sault and kid­nap­ping. MENA said po­lice also con­fis­cated weapons and mu­ni­tions at the scene. —AP

CAIRO: In this Jan 25, 2016 file photo, sup­port­ers of ousted Is­lamist Pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Morsi, chant slo­gans and raise an im­age of him af­ter the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood called on its sup­port­ers to take to the streets on the an­niver­sary of the 2011 up­ris­ing. —AP

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