Eight more detained over 2015 assassination of Egypt's top prosecutor

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Monday 7 Mar 2016

Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar said in Sunday's press conference that leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas were responsible for the assassination of top prosecutor Barakat

File Photo: Egypt's interior minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar speaks during a press conference on February 8, 2016 in the capital Cairo (AFP)

Egypt's supreme security prosecution ordered on Monday the detention of eight new defendants for 15 days pending investigations over the assassination of Egypt's top prosecutor Hisham Barakat in 2015, a judicial source told Ahram Online.

The prosection's decision comes one day after six suspects were detained on the same charges, bringing the total number of detainees to 14.

In June 2015, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat died from injuries sustained in a Cairo bomb attack -- the first successful assassination attempt against a top state official since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

On Sunday, Egypt's Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar said in a press conference that Turkey's leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood (a group now banned in Egypt) and the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas were responsible for the assassination of Barakat on 29 June 2015.

Abdel-Ghaffar said that the Turkey-based leaders of the Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, masterminded the assassination of Barakat, while Hamas "provided training for militants to execute it and also took part in planning it."

Following the press conference by the Egyptian minister, Hamas expressed dismay at the Egyptian interior minister's accusations, with spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri describing them as "untrue."

Abu Zuhri also called on Egyptian officials to "not involve Palestinian factions in internal domestic disagreements."

Egyptian officials have more than once linked Hamas to terror acts in Egypt, which spiked following the ouster of Morsi in 2013.

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