Al Kuwaitiah  

Thursday, October 22, 2020

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Militants kill 8 policemen in Cairo suburb
Associated Press
Militants opened fire on a microbus filled with plainclothes police in a Cairo suburb early Sunday, killing eight of them, including an officer, in an attack claimed by a local Daesh (ISIS) affiliate.
The attack was the deadliest in the heavily policed capital since November, when gunmen attacked a security checkpoint, killing four policemen. That attack was also claimed by the local Daesh affiliate.
Egypt’s state-run MENA news agency said the policemen were inspecting security in the south Cairo suburb of Helwan early Sunday when four gunmen in a pickup opened fire on them.
Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar, in charge of police, ordered an investigation into the attack.
The Daesh affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement, saying it killed everyone in the vehicle. It identified the officer and said the fighters seized light weapons from the police before fleeing the scene unharmed.
It said the operation was to avenge women jailed in Egypt. The claim could not be independently verified, but the statement’s language and the nature of the attack suggest it is authentic.
Sunday’s attack came as the interior minister was locked in a dispute with the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate following the arrest last week of two reporters who had taken refuge inside the syndicate’s building in downtown Cairo. The syndicate’s board says the ministry did not give it advance warning and has demanded that Abdel-Ghaffar be fired.
Several newspapers have protested by not mentioning the minister by name and by only publishing altered photos of him designed to look like negatives. It was not yet clear how they would cover his response to Sunday’s attack. Rights groups have accused Egypt’s police of widespread abuses, including the torture of dissidents, with some likening their tactics to those used during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
The Interior Ministry has denied any systematic abuses, and is likely to point to attacks like the one carried out Sunday to argue that it is defending the country against Islamist militants who have sown chaos across the region.
Meanwhile, police arrested a teenage Egyptian street performer, Ezzedeen Khaled, they accuse of inciting anti-government protests and releasing an online video “insulting state institutions,” according to his lawyer.
Mahmoud Othman told the Associated Press that Khaled, 19, was arrested Saturday from his Cairo home.
Khaled is member of a satirical group called Awlad al-Shawarea, or “Street Children,” which recently released a video clip critical of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi that has circulated on social media.
Also Saturday, an Egyptian court recommended the death sentence against six people, including two Al-Jazeera employees, for allegedly passing documents related to national security to Qatar and the Doha-based TV network during the rule of President Mohammad Morsi.
The Al-Jazeera employees – identified by the judge as news producer Alaa Omar Mohammed and news editor Ibrahim Mohammad Hilal – were sentenced in absentia along with Asmaa al-Khateib, who worked for Rasd, a media network suspected of links to Morsi’s Brotherhood.
 
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