Hundreds of protestors in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Luxor have continued their demonstration in front of the governorate headquarters for a fourth consecutive day.
The appointment of Adel El-Khayat, a founding member of Egypt's ultraconservative Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya group, to the post of Luxor governor provoked the protests.
Protestors have been blocking the building to prevent El-Khayat from entering, and have also blocked off the main Corniche road.
Employees in the tourism section, members of leftist and liberal opposition movements and parties, including some from the anti-government 'Rebel' signature drive, raised banners that emphasised their opposition to the "extremist" governor. A number of tourists were also present, expressing solidarity with the protesters.
Khayat’s appointment on Sunday stirred controversy due to the Islamist group’s role in the murder of at least 58 tourists and 4 Egyptians in a terrorist attack in Luxor in 1997.
The incident was followed by years of crippled tourism and a crackdown on the formerly militant group.
El-Khayat was also detained without charge for a year following the assassination of late president Anwar El-Sadat by members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya in 1981.
At a press conference on Wednesday, however, the group categorically denied its involvement in the incident, asserting that Islam strictly forbade the killing of innocent people.
"El-Khayat has never been charged in any political case or imprisoned for a single day," group spokesman Khaled El-Sherif said. He criticised perceived attempts by some quarters to exclude the formerly militant group from Egypt's political stage.
El-Sherif added that his group had reassessed its earlier policies and regretted its former use of violent tactics.