Egyptian security forces have shot dead a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader and another member of the outlawed group in an overnight shootout at a Cairo apartment, the government says.
According to an Interior Ministry statement, 61-year-old Mohammed Kamal and fellow Brotherhood member Yasser Shehata Ali Ragab were killed when police raided their hideout in the southeast of the capital late on Monday.
Kamal, a physician by profession, was wanted for more than a dozen armed attacks and was twice sentenced in absentia to life in prison, the statement said. He was allegedly in charge of several armed branches of the Brotherhood.
He was killed in an exchange of gunfire along with Ragab as police tried to arrest them at a Cairo apartment. Ragab was earlier sentenced in absentia to 10 years’ imprisonment.
A Brotherhood statement, posted on its official website, said Kamal had been arrested by the police and that the group considers authorities responsible for his safety.
Kamal is one of the most prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Guidance Bureau. He was in charge of the supreme Administrative Committee, known as the youth committee.
Egypt has been carrying out an extensive clampdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and other government opponents since the ouster in 2013 of President Mohamed Morsi.
The government has labelled the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist organization” following the military coup against Morsi in July 2013. The Brotherhood says it is a peaceful organization.
The coup against Morsi was led by then army chief and now President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who also launched a brutal crackdown on all Brotherhood members and supporters across the country.
Tens of thousands were arrested and many others killed or injured during numerous protest rallies that followed Morsi’s ouster.
The Brotherhood has strongly rejected terrorism charges. It continues to insist that it is committed to peaceful means of activism in its efforts to reverse the ouster and imprisonment of Morsi, who has also been sentenced to death by an Egyptian court.