Egyptian police arrests 20 over claiming responsibility for top prosecutor's assassination

Ahram Online , Wednesday 1 Jul 2015

A Facebook page titled 'The Popular Resistance' claimed the assassination of the chief prosecutor, though some security experts believe the operation bears the hallmarks of Sinai Province

the site of a bombing that killed Egypt’s top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat
Egyptian policemen stand guard at the site of a bombing that killed Egypt’s top prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, June 29, 2015 (Photo: AP)

Twenty people have been arrested by security forces on Wednesday over accusations they are behind the Facebook page dubbed "The Popular Resistance" which claimed responsibility for the assassination of Egypt's prosecutor-general Hisham Barakat on Monday.

Al Ahram Arabic website reported on Wednesday that the administrators of the pages were located in different places in Cairo and Giza. Some "criminal research units" affiliated with the ministry of interior are chasing others over the same accusations.

Units from the National Security Agency are raiding some alleged terrorist-linked hotbeds in Cairo's outskirts following Barakat's assassination near his home in the upscale district of Heliopolis.

Nine people, including two drivers and five members of the security forces, were injured when a bomb hit the prosecutor's convoy.

Barakat's death marks the first successful assassination attempt against a state official since violence erupted following former president Mohamed Morsi's ouster in July 2013.  

Meanwhile, security experts doubt that the "The Popular Resistance" Facebook page is behind the attack, as they believe that the technical implementation of the explosion suggested that it might have been conducted by the Islamic State-affiliated jihadist group Sinai Province, previously known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.

On Monday, the group released a video that shows their attack on judges in North Sinai's Al-Arish in May. A title at the bottom of the screen reads "Assassination of five of the tyrant's judges."

The Sinai Province claimed responsibility for the assassination attempt against former interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who escaped unscathed in September 2013. The bomb attack on Ibrahim in Cairo left one civilian dead and 21 injured, including six policemen and a child.

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