Sun, Feb 26, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Egypt’s Brotherhood blames ministry after attacks

Reuters, CAIRO

The Muslim Brotherhood is holding Egypt’s Ministry of the Interior responsible for two separate attacks on Islamist politicians over the previous 24 hours, it said on Friday, accusing it of ignoring death threats made to its members.

Brotherhood lawmaker Hassan al-Prince was seriously injured in a crash on Friday when a truck pulled out in front of his moving car. Late on Thursday, armed men beat up presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotoh.

“We hold the Interior Ministry and all its institutions entirely responsible for these incidents,” the Brotherhood said in a statement, saying al-Prince and a fellow lawmaker had recently received death threats.

“We demand [state authorities] perform the role they are supposed to perform and realize the people will not forgive them for their neglect and the dereliction of the rights of their country and its citizens,” read a statement on the Web site of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which emerged as the biggest single party in Egypt’s parliamentary elections.

The statement said recent acts of violence in Egypt, including a soccer stadium disaster in Port Said this month in which 74 died, were the result of a deliberate breakdown of security.

FJP official Hussein Ibrahim, after visiting al-Prince in hospital, quoted him as saying a truck with a trailer blocked the path of his car, seemingly deliberately, causing the vehicle to crash into it.

Khaled Ghobara, director of security in Alexandria, said the crash was a simple accident.

“It’s just a traffic accident that could happen to me or anybody else. Don’t amplify it,” he said.

“I am reassuring you that if there is in fact something to prove it was intentional, we won’t let it go,” he said.

In a separate incident near Cairo late on Thursday, Abol Fotoh was attacked by armed men and taken to hospital suffering from concussion.

He was on his way home in his car from a campaign event in the city of Munufeya when three masked men carrying machine guns stopped him, beat him on the head repeatedly, took the car and fled, a member of his campaign team said.

He was a leading Islamist candidate for the Egyptian presidency, but was expelled from the Muslim Brotherhood when he questioned its decision not to put up a presidential candidate.

He was released from hospital on Friday morning, a campaign spokesman said.

In other news, the Brotherhood claimed in its newspaper on Friday it had scored an outright majority in an election for the upper house of parliament after having emerged as the top party in an earlier lower-house vote.

The official results of the upper-house vote are expected to be released today, however, turnout was low for the two-round polls, which began on Jan. 29.

The Freedom and Justice said the FJP had won 107 seats of the upper house’s 180 seats.

It said another Islamist party, the Salafist al-Nour Party, won 46 seats. Among secularist and liberal parties, Wafd won 19 seats and the Egyptian Bloc seven. An independent candidate took one seat.

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