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Egyptian police to boost security after Belaid assassination

The Egyptian interior ministry will provide extra security for opposition figures after the assassination of Tunisian opposition figure

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 Feb 2013
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Egyptian interior ministry spokesman Hani Abdel-Latif said that special attention would be given to the security of political figures after the assassination of Tunisian leading opposition figure Chokri Belaid in Tunis on Wednesday.

In a statement to Al-Ahram's Arabic website, Abdel-Latif said Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim gave orders to this effect, dispatching extra security patrols around the residences of prominent political figures.

Belaid was assassinated in front of his home early on Wednesday morning by an unidentified gunman. The assassination fomented existing anger against the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, leading angry protesters to attack Ennahda offices in several provinces.

Earlier this week, an Al-Azhar professor issued a fatwa approving the killing of Egyptian opposition figures for their attempts to bring down a leader elected by the public. The religious scholar, Mahmoud Shaaban, directly targeted National Salvation Front (NSF) leaders Mohamed ElBaradei and Hamdeen Sabbahi.

In response, ElBaradei on his official Twitter account Wednesday criticised the government for its silence over the statements made against him.

On Thursday afternoon, however, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil expressed his rejection of such "extreme" statements, stating that they directly incite murder and raise dissent and unrest in the country.

Qandil added that the Cabinet is taking the necessary legal procedures to pursue anyone who issues or promotes incentives to use violence against opponents.

Egypt's ministry of interior assigned a security presence outside ElBaradei's home in the New Cairo district Thursday.

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