Egypt’s chief prosecutor has ordered the detention of six people suspected of involvement in the assassination of his predecessor past year.
Egyptian Interior Minister Magdy Abdul Ghaffar said that Muslim Brotherhood collaborated with Hamas to kill former general prosecutor Hisham Barakat in a vehicle bomb last June.
The Brotherhood has been outlawed as a “terrorist organisation” and Barakat had referred thousands of Islamists to trial since the military’s overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, with hundreds then sentenced to death.
A small group calling itself the “Giza Popular Resistance” had claimed responsibility for the attack on its Facebook page shortly after the bombing but the authenticity of the claim had never been verified.
Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar said during a televised address that Hamas, which controls Gaza, trained the Muslim Brotherhood for the operation that killed the 65-year-old Hisham Barakat in June 2015. He accused Hamas of helping to provide training and explosives. Fourteen of them had confessed to killing Barakat.
Barakat was killed by a massive bombing outside his home, in the first assassination of a senior Egyptian official in 25 years.
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 is considered a terrorist group by the USA and other Western countries, but says it confines its attacks to Israel and the Palestinian territories. The Brotherhood denied perpetrating it, although the government considers the group responsible for most political violence in the country. It was the first assassination of a senior Egyptian official in 25 years.
The crackdown, which has included restrictions on freedom of protest, has angered many opponents of Sisi who has struggled to suppress an insurgency that is raging in the Sinai Peninsula which borders Hamas-controlled Gaza.
“Members of the Muslim Brotherhood who planned this murder are hiding in Turkey”.
He said the government will use all legal methods to extradite fugitive Brotherhood members.