Police shoot dead seven Egyptian militants: Islamists tell foreigners to leave the country for their own safety

CAIRO - Egyptian police shot dead seven Islamic militants during a three-hour siege, in the bloodiest 24 hours so far this year in the country's ongoing power struggle.

The Interior Minister, Hassan al-Alfi, said the security authorities would continue to attack violent militants in their hideouts. 'We will not rest as long as there is one terrorist on Egyptian soil. The operation will continue days and nights to quash terrorism,' he said.

The seven militants from the Gama'a el-Islamiya organisation were killed during a raid on a flat in north-east Cairo, where police said they recovered large quantities of ammunition and firearms. Two other militants were arrested and one policeman was wounded, security sources said. They said the militants were all from Dayrout, an Islamic stronghold.

The Gama'a group said yesterday that foreigners should leave the country for their own safety. 'We implore tourists and investors to leave the country because the next operations will be extremely ferocious and strong,' it said in a statement after the raid.

'We are forced to this to defend our faith, the values we hold sacred, and ourselves, in the face of the lack of law and of human rights which the dictatorial (President Hosni) Mubarak regime embodies,' the statement said.

In the southern town of Assiut two gunmen shot dead a state security policeman yesterday, apparently in retaliation for the killings in Cairo. Assiut police suspected the gunmen of belonging to the Gama'a group.

It was the bloodiest 24 hours in Egypt since 19 December last year, when nine people were killed in political violence.

Mr Alfi said dollars 10,000 ( pounds 6,800) was found with the militants 'which shows they are mercenaries and agents paid to carry out attacks to damage the country'. He said those killed were 'a dangerous group,' including militants on the run after previous crimes. Police had carried out the raid after a tip-off.

At least 290 people have been killed and 670 injured since the militants, who want a strict Islamic state, began their campaign of violence in 1992.

An Interior Ministry statement yesterday said that in the Cairo incident the 'terrorists' - the government's term for violent militants - opened fire first and the state security police fired back immediately.

Meanwhile, another group of Islamists plans to appeal against a court's refusal to declare a lecturer, Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid, an apostate and annul his marriage.

A spokesman for the group, Youssef al-Badri, said yesterday: 'We won't leave him alone until he repents . . . until he admits he was an apostate and says that everything he has written is false.'

A judge ruled last week that he could not separate the Cairo University lecturer and his wife unless one of them requested it. Under Islamic law, the basis of Egyptian marriage law, non-Muslim or apostate men may not have Muslim wives.

Mr Abu Zeid says he is a good Muslim, but his approach to analysis of the Koran is unusually liberal.

BEIRUT - Al-Awja, a hitherto unknown Palestinian organisation, has claimed responsibility for the killing of a Jordanian diplomat, and warned Norway against hosting any more Arab-Israeli peace talks, according to the pro-Syrian As-Safir newspaper, AFP reports.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

East15 Acting School: Finance and Contracts Officer

£20,781 to £24,057 per annum: East15 Acting School: The post involves general ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Breakdown Engineer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: ACS qualified Domestic Gas Brea...

Recruitment Genius: Product Packager / Stock Assistant

£16250 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Product Packager / Stock Assistant is ...

Recruitment Genius: Head Chef

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Garden Centre complex base...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen