Gun-battle leaves suspected fugitives dead in historic Cairo district

Gun-battle leaves suspected fugitives dead in historic Cairo district
Egypt's Interior Ministry said in a statement on Friday that four fugitives suspected of links to unidentified Islamist groups were killed following a shootout in the southwestern suburb of Giza
2 min read
04 March, 2017
Areas of Giza have been identified as strongholds of Muslim Brotherhood support by authorities [Archive/Getty]

Four suspected fugitives were killed following an exchange of fire in the Egyptian capital Cairo, according to a statement from the country's interior ministry on Friday. 

The men - who authorities say were plotting to carry out attacks against the state - were killed in the Giza district, a southwestern suburb of the Egyptian capital.

An anonymous security official from the district was quoted in state news agency MENA stating that ammunition and several shell cases were found with the four men at the scene of the shootout.

One of those killed in the attack was identified by the interior ministry as Sameh Mohamed Farahat Abd el-Mageed, who is suspected of being a leader of a Takfiri group opposed to the rule of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. 

The four men, according to the interior ministry, were killed after first opening fire on security forces.

Attacks targeting security forces have become common since Sisi took power. 

In December a reported double bomb attack outside a mosque in Giza left six policemen dead according to local media reports.

But most attacks targeting security officials take place outside the capital, notably in the North Sinai where Egypt faces an entrenched Islamist insurgency that in recent weeks has upped a campaign targeting Egypt's Coptic Christian community

After seizing power in a military coup that saw Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi deposed and consequently jailed, Sisi launched a far-reaching crackdown on Islamists and others opposed to his rule.

Thousands of people have been jailed in clampdowns criticised by human rights groups. 

In October 2016 Egyptian officials said that police had killed a senior Muslim Brotherhood member and his aide following a shoot-out in the Bassateen neighbourhood of the capital.

However Brotherhood sources disputed this account, stating that the two men were killed hours after being detained, and did not fire on security forces.

Localities within Giza governorate have been identified as strongholds of Muslim Brotherhood support. 

These include the town of Kerdasa where Egyptian officials say 11 police officers and soldiers were killed in an attack on a local police station in August 2013.

This reported assault took place on the same day that security forces sought to disperse a protest camp in the capital’s Rabaa al-Adawiya square.

Over 800 people were killed in ensuing violence, according to Amnesty International.