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Egypt reportedly to prosecute Luxor police chiefs over massacre

November 30, 1997

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ Egypt plans to prosecute Luxor’s top police officials for negligence in the massacre of 58 tourists by Islamic extremists, the official news agency reported Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Medhat el-Shanawany and Maj. Gen. Abul Atta Yousef, chief and deputy chief, respectively, at the time of the attack, will be tried in a police disciplinary court on Dec. 21, the Middle East News Agency said.

The men, who face dereliction of duty charges, were demoted during a security shakeup following the Nov. 17 attack on visitors to the ancient Temple of Hatshepsut.

Interior Minister Habib el-Adly said in a statement Saturday that the Luxor attack ``requires that we deal severely with any security negligence.″

The attack outside the southern city of Luxor was the deadliest in a five-year Islamic insurgency to topple the secular government of President Hosni Mubarak and install a religious rule. Besides 58 foreign tourists, the dead included four Egyptians. Six gunmen were killed in a shootout with police.

El-Adly also said that, beginning Sunday, he would deploy 280 extra police officers at the tourist sites in the southern cities of Luxor and Aswan, as well as the Red Sea tourist resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.

In the southern city of Assiut, meanwhile, police have arrested 97 former prisoners convicted of crimes connected to the Islamic insurgency.

More than 1,100 people, mostly police and militants, have died since the extremists began their campaign to replace the secular government with strict Islamic rule.

Update hourly