Egypt: Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader killed in shootout

AP News
Posted: Oct 04, 2016 4:29 AM
Egypt: Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader killed in shootout

CAIRO (AP) — 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 Tuesday.

According to a ministry statement, carried by the state MENA news agency, 61-year-old Mohammed Kamal, a physician by profession, was wanted for more than a dozen armed attacks and was twice sentenced in absentia to life in prison for establishing an armed group and an explosion near a police station. He was in charge of several armed branches of the Brotherhood, the statement said.

Kamal was also wanted for the June 2015 killing in Cairo of Egypt's chief prosecutor, Hisham Barakat — the first assassination of a senior Egyptian official in 25 years. The government had earlier implicated the Palestinian militant Hamas group, accusing it of training those who took part in the assassination in the Gaza Strip. Hamas denied the accusation.

The statement additionally said Kamal was behind the failed assassination on Egypt's former mufti, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, in Cairo in August, though a lesser-known militant group claimed that attack.

Egypt has been carrying out an extensive clampdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and other government opponents since the ouster in 2013 of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

Kamal was killed in an exchange of gunfire along with Yasser Shahata Ali Ragab as police tried to arrest them at a Cairo apartment. Ragab was earlier sentenced in absentia to 10 years' imprisonment. MENA says police also confiscated weapons and munition at the scene.

But a Brotherhood statement, posted on its official website shortly after first reports of the shootout emerged, said Kamal had been arrested by the police and that the group considers authorities responsible for his safety.