Egypt Arrests Suspected Militants
Jan. 02, 1999
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Egyptian security forces have arrested 43 suspected Muslim militants for plotting to kill senior government officials, police said Saturday.
The arrests were made during a three-day crackdown launched Thursday in Cairo, the neighboring province of Qalubiya and the northern province of Menufia, police officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Those arrested are believed to be members of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, or the Islamic Group, Egypt's most powerful militant organization. It had claimed responsibility for the 1997 November massacre of 58 tourists in the southern tourist city of Luxor.
Al-Gamaa has been dormant in recent months following an intensive police crackdown in the wake of the Luxor massacre. Officials said those arrested in the past week were trying to revive the group's influence by plotting to kill senior officials, including some in the security forces.
The police did not identify any intended victims.
Muslim extremists have been fighting since 1992 to topple President Hosni Mubarak's government and replace it with strict Islamic rule. More than 1,200 people have died in the insurgency, mostly militants and policemen.