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Muslim Brotherhood leader shot dead by Egypt police

Mohamed Kamal was shot dead after being located in a Cairo apartment where he was accused of directing underground military group
An Egyptian police officer guards a protest of journalists demanding the sacking of the interior minister (AFP)

Egyptian police shot dead two members of the Muslim Brotherhood, one of them a senior leader of the outlawed Islamist group, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

Mohamed Kamal, 61, a member of the group's top leadership, and Yasser Shehata, another leader, were killed. The ministry said it raided an apartment in Cairo's Bassateen district after learning it was used by the leaders as a headquarters.

Kamal disappeared on Monday afternoon, the Muslim Brotherhood said on its social media accounts but gave no further updates.

The ministry charged that Mohamed Kamal headed the military wing of the movement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, although the group has always denied having one.

It said that he and fellow Brotherhood member Yasser Shehata were killed in a firefight when police raided their hideout in the southeast of the capital late on Monday.

The ministry alleged that Kamal had founded the Brotherhood's military wing after the army's overthrow of Morsi in 2013.

It said he had been given two life sentences in absentia on charges of forming an armed group and involvement in a bombing near a police station in Assiut in southern Egypt.

It said he was also wanted on suspicion of involvement in the murder of prosecutor general Hisham Barakat in a June 2015 car bombing and the attempted murder of leading Muslim cleric Ali Gomaa in August.

Egyptian commentators on Twitter said Kamal's death may have been "extrajudicial" rather than the result of a shootout with police.

Kamal was one of the most prominent leaders of the Brotherhood and a member of the Guidance Bureau. He was in charge of the supreme administrative committee, known as the youth committee. He resigned from the committee in May 2016 because it was opposed by other top leaders in the organisation.

The Brotherhood and its supporters have been subjected to a deadly crackdown since Morsi's removal and imprisonment but it denies taking up arms in response.

Tens of thousands of people have been detained since former army chief turned president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led a popularly backed military coup against Egypt's first democratically elected leader Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Hundreds of soldiers and policemen have been killed in attacks since 2013 but most have been claimed by militants who have pledged loyalty to the Islamic State group.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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