Posts Tagged ‘Morsi’

‘Islamists set on wiping out Coptic Christians’

April 10, 2017

Orthodox Christians in Egypt are the victims of attacks yet again. Markus Rode of the organization “Open Doors” explains the escalation of violence against Copts in a DW interview.

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DW: Two attacks targeted Coptic Christians in Egypt today. More than 30 worshippers died in bomb attacks in Tanta and Alexandria. How would you classify the attacks?

Markus Rode: The attacks are part of a series. The first of the series took place last year, on December 11 – the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday – when a bomb attack was carried out at the Coptic church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the center of Cairo. To date, 29 people have died from that attack.

How do you explain the escalation of violence?

In my opinion, the cycle of violence began when President Morsi was removed from power. Until now, August 14, 2013, represented the peak of violent attacks against Christians: On that date, many churches were destroyed and Christians murdered. The momentum back then was attributed to the fact that the pope of the Copts was seen alongside strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who orchestrated Morsi’s ouster. It was said that the Christians were to blame that the Muslim Brotherhood was deposed.


© Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP (file photo) | Members of the Egyptian police special forces stand guard on Cairo’s landmark Tahrir Square on January 25, 2016.

Relatives of a Christian woman who was killed in the bombing of Cairo's main Coptic cathedral carry her casked in Cairo on Monday.
Relatives of a Christian woman who was killed in the bombing of Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral carry her casked in Cairo on December 14, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS
 (December 2016)

Members of the special police forces stand guard to secure the area around St. Mark"s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral after an explosion inside the cathedral in Cairo

The building bombed in December 2016 is next to St Mark’s Coptic Cathedral, seat of the church’s pope. Reuters Photo

A Christian employee at Cairo's Coptic Cathedral checks for damage from the blast after an explosion inside the cathedral in Cairo

The interior of the church, where Christians had gathered, was also hit in the explosion. AP photo




Egypt: At Least 7 Police Officers Killied In Sinai Attack — Truck Bombing followed by RPG attack, shoot out

January 9, 2017


Mon Jan 9, 2017 | 7:07am EST

At least seven policemen and one civilian were killed in a bomb attack on a checkpoint in the northern Sinai city of al-Arish on Monday, and five of the attackers were also killed, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said.

Security and medical sources told Reuters earlier that eight policemen were killed.

No automatic alt text available.

The attackers planted a bomb in a street cleaning vehicle they had stolen a few days earlier, security sources told Reuters. After the bomb exploded, attackers fired guns and rocket-propelled grenades at the checkpoint, the sources said.

The Interior Ministry said the attack was carried out by a group of around 20 men who had used RPGs and a vehicle bomb. Security forces had detonated the bomb before it reached the checkpoint, and had killed five of the attackers and wounded three others.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which also wounded 13 people, including four civilians. Police found the body of one of the attackers behind the wheel of the vehicle that exploded.

An Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula has gained pace since the military toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest Islamist movement, in 2013 following mass protests against him.

The militant group behind the insurgency pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014 and called itself Sinai Province. It is blamed for killing hundreds of soldiers and police since then.

In November, Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack on a checkpoint that killed 15 soldiers.

In a November issue of its weekly online magazine, Al-Nabaa, Islamic State urged members to join other branches of the group in areas like Sinai, Libya, Yemen and West Africa if they could not travel to its self-declared “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Dominic Evans and Giles Elgood)


Truck bomb kills 8 police in Egypt’s Sinai

January 9, 2017


© AFP/File | Jihadists have mounted a string of deadly operations against security forces since the military ousted Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013

CAIRO (AFP) – A truck bomb attack on an Egyptian security checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula killed at least eight policemen on Monday, officials and state media said.Police officials said a suicide bomber rammed a truck packed with explosives into the checkpoint in the north Sinai city of El-Arish and gunmen then opened fire on the security post.

The Islamic State group’s Egyptian branch in the Sinai Peninsula has carried out several such attacks over the past two years.

Eight people were also wounded in the attack, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported on its website.

Jihadists have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, which unleashed a bloody crackdown on his supporters.

Most of the attacks have taken place in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

In November, a car bomb attack on a checkpoint in Sinai killed eight soldiers.

Egyptian police shoot dead two members of the Muslim Brotherhood — One of the dead headed the military wing of the outlawed Islamist grou

October 4, 2016


An Egyptian policeman stands guard on top of a vehicle in central Cairo on April 15, 2016. AFP file photo

CAIRO (AFP) – Egyptian police shot dead two members of the Muslim Brotherhood, one of them a senior leader of the outlawed Islamist group, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry charged that Mohamed Kamal headed the military wing of the movement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, although the group has always denied having one.

It said that he and fellow Brotherhood member Yasser Shehata were killed in a firefight when police raided their hideout in the southeast of the capital late on Monday.

The ministry alleged that Kamal had founded the Brotherhood’s military wing after the army’s overthrow of Morsi in 2013.

It said he had been given two life sentences in absentia on charges of forming an armed group and involvement in a bombing near a police station in Assiut in southern Egypt.

It said he was also wanted on suspicion of involvement in the murder of prosecutor general Hisham Barakat in a June 2015 car bombing and the attempted murder of leading Muslim cleric Ali Gomaa in August.

The Brotherhood and its supporters have been subjected to a deadly crackdown since Morsi’s ouster but it denied taking up arms in response.

Hundreds of soldiers and policemen have been killed in attacks since 2013 but most have been claimed by jihadists who have pledged loyalty to the Islamic State group.

Egypt arrests four over video mocking President Sisi on the Internet

May 10, 2016


© AFP/File | Rights groups accuse Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (portrait) of running an ultra-authoritarian and repressive regime since he deposed his democratically elected Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi in 2013

CAIRO (AFP) – Four young Egyptians have been remanded in custody accused of making fun of the government in a satirical video posted on social networks, judicial sources said on Tuesday.

The move is the latest in a crackdown on voices critical of the authorities in Egypt.

At the same time, a fifth member of the group known as Street Children arrested on Saturday was ordered released on bail.

Their latest production appears to have touched a nerve as police round up activists involved in April protests against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for handing over two islands to Saudi Arabia.

Rights groups accuse Sisi of running an ultra-authoritarian and repressive regime since he deposed in 2013 his democratically elected Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi.

Mahmud Ottman, a lawyer for the four, said they were arrested late Monday while visiting a friend’s home in central Cairo.

On Tuesday, Mohammed Adel, Mohammed Gabr, Mohammed al-Dessouki and Mohammed Yehya were remanded in custody for 15 days, their lawyer and a judiciary official said.

In the group’s latest video, Street Children mock the devaluation of the Egyptian pound as well as the return of the islands to Saudi Arabia.

The four are accused of “promoting ideas calling for terrorist acts by posting a video on social networks and YouTube,” Ottman said.

They are also suspected of “incitement to take part in demonstrations disturbing the public order” and “inciting mobs to commit hostile actions against state institutions,” he added.

A Cairo court on Tuesday ordered the release on bail of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (about 990 euros) for a fifth member of the group, Ezzedine Khaled.

He is accused of “inciting protests and publishing a video that insulted state institutions”.

Ottman said the bail had been paid and he expected Khaled to be released.

Attempts to protest last month against the handover of the two islands to Saudi Arabia were nipped in the bud by the authorities.

Since then, they have also cracked down on activists, bloggers, lawyers and journalists.

The overthrow of Morsi, who was deeply unpopular, unleashed a police crackdown on his supporters that has killed hundreds of protesters and imprisoned thousands of people.

Hundreds of people including Morsi have also been sentenced to death in speedy mass trials denounced by the United Nations as “unprecedented in recent history”.


Outrage in Egypt over justice minister’s prophet remark

March 13, 2016


© Egyptian Presidency/AFP/File | Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (right) shakes hands with justice minister Ahmed al-Zind in Cairo on May 20, 201

CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt’s justice minister faced outrage on social media Sunday after a television interview in which he said he would arrest even “a prophet,” although he later admitted it was a “slip of tongue”.

When asked in an interview on private satellite channel Sada Al-Balad on Friday about a case involving journalists accused of defaming him and whether he would jail them, Ahmed al-Zind said he would imprison anyone.

“Even if it’s a prophet, God’s peace and blessings be upon him,” Zind said, using the Islamic saying of reverence spoken by Muslims only when referring to the Prophet Mohammed.

Upon realising what he had said, Zind immediately stopped and said: “I ask for forgiveness from God.”

He further said any “wrongdoer, whatever his identity — even judges” would be jailed if found guilty.

Zind’s remarks triggered outrage on social media networks immediately after the interview, with angry tweets continuing to pour in on Sunday.

Cairo-based Al-Azhar, a prestigious learning centre of Sunni Islam, even issued a warning.

Angry Egyptians launched the Twitter hashtag “trial for Zind” as they lashed out at the minister, who only in January had angered human rights groups after he called for the “mass killing” of outlawed Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

“At least he should be sacked and then put on trial. This issue is not a joke,” said one tweet on Sunday.

“God will take revenge,” said another.

Zind clarified in a separate telephone interview with private network CBC television on Saturday that his remark was a mere “slip of tongue”.

They were “meant in a hypothetical sense… but the Muslim Brotherhood supporters seized on them”.

Al-Azhar warned against insulting the Prophet Mohammed.

“All those involved in public discourse and in the media must respect the name of the Prophet,” it said in a statement without naming Zind.

“He should not be subjected to any insult even if it’s unintentional.”

In January, Zind said in an interview with the same Sada al-Balad channel that he “would not be satisfied until 10,000 Brotherhood members were killed for every martyr” from the armed forces and the police.

Human Rights Watch said his remarks encouraged the “slaughter” of political opponents.

Egyptian authorities have cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood movement after the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Hundreds of Brotherhood supporters have been killed and thousands more jailed in the crackdown, while several of its leaders including Morsi have been sentenced to death or lengthy jail terms.

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi Faces Harsher and Harsher Criticism

February 21, 2016


Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

The Associated Press

February 21, 2016, 5:45 A.M. E.S.T.

CAIRO — A prominent columnist on Sunday delivered the harshest attack to date against Egypt’s president in the local media, saying that, in terms of freedoms, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s rule is not different from the Islamist regime he removed in 2013.

In a front-page column in the al-Maqal daily, Ibrahim Eissa expressed outrage over a two-year prison sentence passed Saturday against author Ahmed Naji for publishing a sexually explicit excerpt of his novel that prosecutors said violated “public modesty.”

The sentence against Naji, passed by a Cairo appeals court, can be appealed.

“Say what you will, Mr. President and speak at your conferences … as you wish, but the reality of your state is different,” he wrote. “Your state violates the constitution, harasses thinkers and creators and jails writers and authors.

“Your state is a theocracy, Mr. President, while you are talking all the time of a modern, civilian state,” he wrote. “Your state and its agencies, just like those of your predecessor (Islamist Mohammed Morsi), hate intellectuals, thought and creativity and only like hypocrites, flatterers and composers of poems of support and flattery.”

Eissa, also a popular TV talk show host, strongly supported the July 3, 2013 ouster by the military of Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president. His removal, led by then Defense Minister el-Sissi, followed days of massive street protests against the divisive one-year rule of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group now labeled a terrorist organization.

But Eissa, like many of the secular and leftist pro-democracy activists behind the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, has slowly moved away from el-Sissi’s camp and is now openly critical of his policies.

El-Sissi, elected to office a year after he ousted Morsi, has overseen the harshest crackdown witnessed in Egypt in decades, jailing thousands of Islamists and hundreds of secular activists. He has also tolerated what rights activists say is widespread abuses by police and introduced restrictions on freedoms and the erosion of public space. A newly elected parliament is packed by his supporters, rendering it as little more than a rubber stamp chamber.

The crackdown is playing out against a backdrop of a new constitution adopted in January 2014 and labeled as the country’s most liberal, a fight against an insurgency by Islamic militants and el-Sissi’s own, one-man drive to revive the country’s ailing economy.

Naji’s case follows a series of convictions against writers and reformist religious thinkers that have given rise to questions about el-Sissi’s declared commitment to the reformation and moderation of Islam’s discourse as a means of combating religious militancy.

El-Sissi has tirelessly boasted since 2013 that his ouster of Morsi saved Egypt from the Brotherhood’s tyrannical theocracy, but Eissa on Sunday wrote that Morsi’s record on freedoms of expression was better than el-Sissi’s.

“Where is this civilian state? Where do you see it?” he wrote, addressing el-Sissi. “This is a state that witnesses more legal prosecution of writers than what we have seen during the Brotherhood’s one-year rule.”


Demonstrators protest against Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi near Downing Street whilst he met with Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron in London, Britain, November 5, 2015. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Egypt’s Sisi tells interior minister to crack down on abuses by police

By Ali Abdelaty

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CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told the interior minister on Friday to crack down on police abuse and to submit proposals to parliament to achieve this goal, the presidency said, as anger mounts over alleged police brutality.

Their meeting came a day after a police officer shot dead a man in the street, angering hundreds of people who protested in front of the Cairo security directorate.

The policeman had attacked a driver after an argument and was forced to flee a mob of local people who attempted to lynch him, said a statement from the directorate. The policeman was later arrested.

Last week, thousands of doctors held a rare protest against police they say beat two doctors at a Cairo hospital for refusing to falsify medical records.

Sisi told Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffar tackle abuses and propose any necessary amendments to laws within 15 days, the presidency said in a statement.

Anger over perceived police excesses helped fuel the 2011 uprising that ended President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule and began on a Police Day holiday.

Since then, police have regained their power and human rights groups allege they often act with impunity. The Interior Ministry denies the accusations and says it investigates any violations.

Earlier this month, the body of a missing Italian graduate student was found on the outskirts of Cairo showing signs of torture, including electrocution. Activists said the injuries had the hallmarks of Egyptian security services.

The Interior Ministry has denied allegations of involvement in the death, but the incident has put a fresh spotlight on Egypt’s human rights record.

Earlier on Friday, the state news agency quoted Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Abu Bakr Abdel Karim as saying policemen are not shielded from the law.


As army chief, Sisi toppled Islamist Mohamed Mursi — Egypt’s first freely elected president — in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

The toughest crackdown on dissent in Egypt’s modern history followed. Security forces killed hundreds of Mursi supporters at a protest camp in one day. Thousands of other Islamists were jailed. Later, liberal activists were rounded up.

Sisi was elected president, promising stability after years of political turmoil caused by the 2011 revolt. But he no longer enjoys his once cult-like following.

Egyptians are frustrated over issues that successive leaders have failed to tackle: the alleged police abuses, unemployment, dilapidated infrastructure and corruption.

In recent weeks, imported commodities like cooking oil have been scarce as a dollar shortage makes it harder for state importers to secure regular supplies.

Affordable food is an explosive issue in Egypt, where millions live a paycheck from hunger, and economic discontent helped unseat two presidents in five years.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; editing by Katharine Houreld)

Egypt’s first parliament since 2012 sworn in

January 10, 2016


Members of Egypt’s new parliament meet during their inaugural session in the capital Cairo on January 10, 2016. AFP

CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt’s new parliament convened on Sunday, in its first session in three years, after a legislative election dominated by pro-government candidates in the absence of any opposition.Analysts have said the new 596-member parliament is expected to strengthen the hand of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and rubber-stamp his government’s decisions.

It was elected last year in two phases with a low turnout of just 28.3 percent after authorities launched a deadly crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood movement of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Hundreds of supporters of the now blacklisted Brotherhood have been killed and thousands jailed, while hundreds more have been sentenced to death.

The group had dominated the previous parliamentary election held between late 2011 and early 2012. That assembly was dissolved months later by a court on technical grounds.

At Sunday’s inaugural session, the new parliamentarians took the oath one at a time, some of them holding Egypt’s flag.

Later they elected law professor Ali Abdel-Al as speaker.

Deputies going into the heavily secured parliament building in Cairo said the first task ahead was to deal with hundreds of bills that need to be ratified.

“The most important thing is to deal with more than 300 (draft) laws and we have to do that in the next 15 days,” said MP Saeed Hassasein.

“We have agreed among parliamentarians to work day and night until we ratify those laws,” he added.

The bills have accumulated since the last Brotherhood-dominated parliament was dissolved by the constitutional court in June 2012.

MP Osama Heikal also said that 15 days were needed to review the bills and ratify them.

Lawmakers were elected under a complex system of independent candidates and party lists.

All party list seats went to the For Love of Egypt coalition, an alliance of parties and groups that support Sisi, the army chief who deposed Morsi before winning a presidential election in May 2014.

The individual seats went to a mix of party-affiliated candidates and independents.

The new assembly also includes 28 members appointed by Sisi.

Gun and Bomb Attack Claimed by the Islamic State in Sinai — Death toll rises to seven

November 25, 2015


Emergency personnel and security forces are pictured outside the Swiss Inn hotel in the Egyptian town of El-Arish following an attack on November 24, 2015

CAIRO (AFP) – The death toll from a gun and bomb attack claimed by the Islamic State group in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has risen to seven, the health ministry said on Wednesday.Two of the dead in Tuesday’s attack on the Swiss Inn hotel in the North Sinai provincial capital El-Arish were judges who had been overseeing voting in parliamentary elections earlier this week, ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said.

Four of the dead were policemen. The seventh victim was a civilian.

A suicide bomber blew up a vehicle at the security barrier outside the hotel, allowing at least one other attacker to enter and go from room to room shooting before blowing himself up.

Jihadists in the Sinai who have pledged allegiance to IS have killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers.

They also claimed responsibility for bombing a Russian passenger plane after it left the south Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.

Unlike the north of the peninsula, which has become a jihadist stronghold and is off-limits to tourists, south Sinai is dotted with heavily secured Red Sea resorts.

Egypt held a second phase of parliamentary elections on Sunday and Monday, its first legislative vote since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Morsi’s ouster unleashed a deadly police crackdown on his followers, and fuelled the insurgency in the Sinai.

Under Siege: Egypt Media Says Sophisticated Weapons Used in Sinai Attack

July 2, 2015


Egyptian army troops in Sheikh Zuweid, northern Sinai, Egypt (25 May 2015)

The Associated Press

CAIRO — A newspaper close to the Egyptian government says the Islamic State-linked militants who attacked troops in the Sinai Peninsula used sophisticated weaponry, including Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles.

In a graphic on its front page Thursday, el-Watan daily says the attackers also used mortars, anti-aircraft guns and other guided missiles.

The attack, which included a wave of suicide bombings and assaults on security installations by dozens of militants, was Sinai’s deadliest in decades.

The army said 17 troops and 90 militants were killed, but security officials and media reports said dozens of soldiers and some 100 militants died in the fighting.

Newspapers led their front pages with the attack, with many describing it as a “war.” Graphic photographs released by the military showed the bodies of extremists killed in the fighting who were wearing combat fatigues.


From BBC News

At least 600 Egyptian security personnel have been killed in militant attacks since 2013

Egypt in transition

Clashes between Islamic State (IS) militants and the army in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula have left more than 100 dead, the military has said.

It said 17 soldiers, including four officers, and more than 100 militants were killed.

Some reports, citing local officials, put the army death toll far higher.

Near-simultaneous raids were launched on at least five military checkpoints and a police station in and around Sheikh Zuweid on Wednesday morning.

The attack was one of the largest co-ordinated assaults yet by IS in Sinai.

Eyewitness reported seeing militants roaming the streets of the northern town on Wednesday, clashing with armed forces.

An Egyptian military spokesman, Brig-Gen Mohammed Samir, told state TV later that the situation was “100% under control”.

Jihadists based in the restive region stepped up their attacks after the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. At least 600 police and armed forces personnel have since been killed.


In a separate development on Wednesday, security officials said nine members of Mr Morsi’s now banned Muslim Brotherhood, including former MP Nasr al-Hafi, had been killed in a police raid on a flat in western Cairo.

The security situation in Egypt has worsened since the assassination of the public prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, two days ago in the capital.

Analysis: Sally Nabil, BBC News, Cairo

The attack in Sheikh Zuweid is one of the biggest of its kind targeting the army in Sinai.

Eyewitnesses say IS-affiliated militants are roaming the streets, raising the flags of the extremist group. But it is always hard to verify any story in Sinai.

The army has enforced a total media blackout on the area since it intensified its fight against jihadists in 2013.

These latest assaults prove that the battle is still far from over. The long military operation, which was meant to restore peace to Sinai has, so far, failed to uproot extremism.

President Sisi has vowed to accelerate his crackdown against the “terrorists”, a broad term which does not only include extremist fighters in Sinai, but possibly all Islamists.

But many are questioning how effective his military solution is.

‘Army fatigues’

Gen Samir said more than 70 “terrorists” fired mortar rounds and detonated a car bomb in attacks on five checkpoints in the Sheikh Zuweid area of North Sinai province on Wednesday morning.


Smoke could be seen rising from the Egyptian side of border with southern Israel

Security and army officials told the Associated Press that at least 50 troops had been killed and 55 wounded, and that several had also been taken captive.

Sources meanwhile told the Reuters news agency that at least 36 soldiers, policemen and civilians had been killed along with 38 militants.

Dr Osama el-Sayed of El-Arish General Hospital was cited by Reuters as saying 30 bodies had been brought in, “some of whom were wearing army fatigues”.

Islamic State’s local affiliate, Sinai Province, later said in a statement posted online that it had targeted 15 security sites and carried out three suicide attacks.

Earlier in the day, officials told AP that dozens of policemen were inside Sheikh Zuweid’s main police station, which they said was coming under mortar- and RPG-fire.

“We are not allowed to leave our homes. Clashes are ongoing. A short while ago I saw five [Toyota] Landcruisers with masked gunmen waving black flags,” Sheikh Zuweid resident Suleiman al-Sayed told Reuters.


Military operations have so far failed to quell the violence in restive North Sinai province

The militants were also reported to have planted bombs along a road between Sheikh Zuweid and a nearby army camp to prevent reinforcements arriving.

North Sinai has been under a state of emergency and a curfew since October, when an attack on a checkpoint in El-Arish left dozens of soldiers dead.

Police and army patrols have been increased and additional checkpoints have been set up. In addition, a buffer zone along the border with Gaza has been created by demolishing houses and destroying underground tunnels the military says have been used to smuggle weapons from the Palestinian enclave.


Following the deaths in Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement saying that several of its leaders had been “murdered… in cold blood” and urged Egyptians to “rise in revolt” against the actions of the government of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

The interior ministry said the men had been fugitive Brotherhood leaders who were meeting to plan “acts of terrorism and sabotage”.

The Muslim Brotherhood, however, said they were part of its committee supporting the families of detainees and members who had been killed.

Analysts said the car bomb attack in Cairo that killed Mr Barakat also bore the hallmarks of Sinai Province, which was known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis until it pledged allegiance to Islamic State in November and changed its name.

In a speech at Mr Barakat’s funeral on Tuesday, President Sisi promised legal reforms to ensure death sentences could be enforced more swiftly for those convicted of acts of terrorism.

Hours later, a soldier was shot dead outside a museum in southern Cairo and three suspected militants were killed when a car in which they were travelling blew up near a police station in a western suburb.