Egyptian police said they found identity documents of slain Italian student Giulio Regeni on Thursday inside an apartment linked to a gang robbing foreigners, hours after killing all its four members in a fire exchange.
Egypt's interior ministry posted on its Facebook page photos of Regeni’s passport as well as his American University in Cairo and Cambridge University ID cards, saying the documents were in a "red handbag bearing the Italian flag" along with other items such as his credit card and two mobile phones.
The apartment, located in Qalyoubiya Governorate, north of Cairo, is owned by a sister of one of the gang members, 52-year-old Tarek Saad. His wife confirmed while being interrogated that the red handbag belonged to her husband, the ministry's statement added.
Earlier on Thursday, Saad, his 26-year-old son and two other men aged 40 and 60 were in a microbus before opening fire at police forces deployed in New Cairo to arrest them, according to the ministry. The security personnel fired back and killed them.
According to an earlier interior ministry statement, the suspects formed a gang that impersonated police officers to kidnap foreigners with the intent to rob them. Investigations indicated the quartet were involved in nine robbery cases.
With signs of torture on it, Regeni's body was found on a roadside in Giza nine days after he disappeared on 25 January. Investigations into his murder are still underway.
The 28-year-old PhD student was conducting research on independent trade union movements in Egypt.