The Latest: Hamas denies role in killing of Egypt prosecutor

AP News
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Posted: Mar 06, 2016 11:25 AM
The Latest: Hamas denies role in killing of Egypt prosecutor

CAIRO (AP) — The Latest on Egypt blaming the 2015 assassination of the chief prosecutor on the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian militant group Hamas (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas has denied Egypt's accusations that it was involved in the 2015 assassination of the country's top prosecutor.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri says the accusations made Sunday are "baseless and are not in harmony with the efforts being exerted to develop the relationship between Hamas and Cairo."

Egypt's interior minister had earlier accused Hamas of training members of Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group in the use of explosives and of helping to prepare and implement the bombing that killed chief prosecutor Hisham Barakat last June.

Barakat was killed by a massive bombing outside his home, in the first assassination of a senior Egyptian official in 25 years.

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5 p.m.

Egypt's interior minister says the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian militant group Hamas were behind the assassination of the country's chief prosecutor in a 2015 bombing.

Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar said in a televised address Sunday that Hamas trained Brotherhood members in the Gaza Strip for the operation, which killed 65-year-old Hisham Barakat last June.

Abdel-Ghaffar says dozens of people have been arrested in the case. He says "Hamas trained, prepared, and oversaw the implementation," of the assassination, the first of a senior Egyptian official in 25 years.

There were no reliable claims of responsibility for the attack. The Brotherhood denied perpetrating it, although the government considers the group responsible for most political violence in the country.

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3:40 p.m.

Egypt's chief prosecutor has ordered the detention of six people suspected of involvement in the assassination of his predecessor last year.

In a Sunday statement, Nabil Sadek's office ordered the six, who were arrested a day earlier, to be held for 15 days pending investigation. Most are students at Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's pre-eminent institution for religious learning.

A car bomb killed Hisham Barakat, who oversaw cases against thousands of Islamists, on June 29 as he left his home. It was the first assassination of a senior Egyptian official in 25 years.

The government responded by pushing through a wide-ranging anti-terrorism law that broadened the definition of terrorism, gave police greater powers of arrest, and tightened restrictions on free speech.

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Associated Press writer Fares Akram reported from Gaza.