Egypt’s Interior Ministry said police have killed a top Muslim Brotherhood leader in a shoot-out in Cairo, an account the group have unequivocally rejected.
A ministry statement carried by the state MENA news agency earlier today said Mohamed Kamal, 61, was killed in shoot-out along with Yasser Shahata Ali Ragab as police tried to arrest them at an apartment in the Bassateen neighbourhood of Cairo.
Sources in the Muslim Brotherhood, though, told Al Jazeera that security forces killed two of its leaders hours after detaining them.
The ministry accused Kamal of running armed branches of the group but the country’s largest Islamic political party insists it is committed to non-violent activism.
Kamal was twice sentenced in absentia to life in prison on charges of setting up an armed group and setting off an explosion near a police station, while Ragab was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison.
The secular regime of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi has banned the Muslim Brotherhood and brutally cracked down on its members since removing Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president in 2013.
Thousands of the group’s members, including its senior leadership have been jailed for opposing the coup.
Kamal was one of the most prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Guidance Bureau.
He was previously in charge of the supreme Administrative Committee known as the youth committee.
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