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Body of Brotherhood leader found in Cairo's Zeinhom morgue

Tarek Khalil reportedly went missing from his Cairo home on 15 June
Friends and relatives carry a coffin at the Zeinhom Morgue in Cairo on 19 August 2013 (AFP)

After nine Brotherhood members were found dead in a Cairo apartment where they had been allegedly arrested by security forces on Wednesday, Brotherhood leader Tarek Khalil was reported dead by his family on Friday.

Khalil, a businessman and leading member of the Brotherhood, headed the group’s development committee. He also ran as a parliamentary candidate for Suez in Egypt’s 2009 general elections.

The reports of his death emerge on the second anniversary of Egypt's 3 July 2013 coup, after which the country's military-led government launched a fierce crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, including the 14 August 2013 Rabaa Square massacre

According to the Muslim Brotherhood website Ikhwanweb, Khalil went missing two weeks ago after he was arrested by the Egyptian security forces from his east Cairo home on 15 June.

Khalil’s family was informed on Thursday night that his body was to be found at the Zeinhom morgue, Cairo's main mortuary. Some reports revealed that Khalil had been dead for several days.

“Tarek Khalil’s body has been in the morgue for three days, but the ministry of interior only informed his family a few hours ago,” said Hosam Yahia, an Aljazeera journalist on his Twitter account.

The family says it has found clear signs of torture on Khalil’s body, reported Alaraby Aljadid news website. 

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior however has made no statements confirming any of those reports.

Since the assassination of Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat on 29 June and following the surprise attacks carried out by affiliates of Islamic State (IS) against Egyptian army positions in Sinai killed at least 70 soldiers and 38 militants, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has pledged to toughen up laws against militants.

"The arm of justice is chained by the law. We're not going to wait for this. We're going to amend the law to allow us to implement justice as soon as possible," Sisi stated in a televised speech, surrounded by Barakat's mourning relatives.

"Do courts in these circumstances work? Do these laws work? They work with normal people.”

He pledged swift action against the perpetrators of the killing of Barakat, the most high-profile assassination of an Egyptian political figure in many years.