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Opposition Leader Accuses Sudan in Assassination Attempt

July 5, 1995

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ A Sudanese opposition leader said Wednesday there was circumstantial evidence linking Islamic cleric Hassan Turabi to last month’s assassination attempt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak el-Fadel el-Mahdi, head of the opposition National Democratic Alliance, told a news conference in Cairo that an associate of Turabi had been a tenant in the house from which the June 26 attack was launched.

President Mubarak has singled out Turabi for orchestrating the attack, which occurred as the Egyptian leader arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for an African summit.

Turabi, who is seen as the power behind Sudan’s Islamic government, has denied involvement.

``The house that has been used in that attempt had been previously occupied by the National Islamic Front leader in the region, Mohamed Osman Abdullah Khadim, who has been lately transferred to the Sudan,″ el-Mahdi said.

The National Islamic Front is the political party Turabi headed before the 1989 coup that brought Lt. Gen. Omar el-Bashir to power in Sudan. Though the party has officially been dissolved, it still is the base for Turabi’s activities.

El-Mahdi said Khadim ``had been handling the activities of the National Islamic Front in the horn of Africa.″

Also Wednesday, four Sudanese students who had been expelled from Egypt told a news conference in Khartoum that Egyptian police tortured them during interrogations.

The four said they were detained twice _ first for nine days in April and again on June 30, four days after the attack on Mubarak. They were deported Sunday.

One of the students, Ahmed Hussein Osman, who was chairman of the Higher Committee for Sudanese Students in Egypt, told the news conference that Egyptian interrogators beat them and administered electric shocks.

Egyptian officials refused to comment on the accusation, saying they did not know details of the case. Officials have persistently denied charges made by human rights organizations that security forces use torture against suspected Islamic radicals.

In Cairo, el-Mahdi, who was interior minister in Sudan before the coup, said that the Egyptian gunmen who claimed responsibiity for the attack could not have done so without Sudanese help.

That help was provided by a network including Khadim that worked through Sudanese Embassy and other offices in Ethiopia, he said.

On Tuesday, al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, Egypt’s biggest Islamic militant group, claimed it carried out the attack on Mubarak and promised to try again to kill him. There was no way to authenticate the source of the claim. Nor was there any explanation for why the claim was issued more than a week after the attack on the president.

Update hourly