Two men were killed and one was injured Saturday night as they attempted to plant an explosive device near a state council building in the Sharqeya governorate.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the three men “were trying to plant the device when it exploded, “accusing them of being “[Muslim] Brotherhood elements”.
The injured suspect was arrested, and was found to be in possession of a birdshot gun. He is currently being interrogated by the police.
It remains unconfirmed whether the suspects were members of the Muslim Brotherhood or not.
Recently, daily statements by the Ministry of Interior announced the arrest and killing of alleged “Brotherhood elements”. The accused are usually photographed in the online statements alongside homemade weapons, fireworks, guns, anti-government flyers, or literature belonging to the now outlawed group.
The group, along with its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party, are banned by the Egyptian government. Many anti-government students and protesters, when arrested, are charged with “belonging to an outlawed group”.
Bombings have become a common phenomenon on Egyptian streets in the last year and a half, with the last major bombing taking place outside Cairo’s High Court, leaving two dead.
Last Thursday, the ministry issued a statement blaming fleeing Muslim Brotherhood members for the bombings, after “the arrest of a number of Brotherhood leaders and referring them to court”. The ministry said the group amended its theoretical framework “to meet the nature of the current period”, to abandon its “peaceful” practices.
This, the ministry added, is being undertaken by the group in cooperation with several Islamist groups including “Ajnad Misr, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, and the Hazemon movement”, having common grounds in their ideology.
The first two groups are militant groups. Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya is a Salafi preaching and charity based group, while Hazemon was a solidarity group supporting former disqualified Salafi presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail.
“These [Islamist] groups have gathered to form different militant groups such as the Helwan Brigades, the Revolutionary Punishment, the Execution movement, and the Anti Coup Black Bloc movement” to convince the public that various groups are challenging the state.
Responding to the accusations, official Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Mohamed Montaser described the facts in the ministry statement as false and close to “science fiction novels”.
Montaser added that the police accused the Brotherhood of resorting to violence “as the military junta started its fierce campaign of arbitrary arrest of the group’s leaders, but it later admitted that the arrests were an integral part of its coup”.
Although militants groups insult the “Brotherhood and the supporters of Legitimacy due to its peaceful strategies”, the Interior ministry accused the Brotherhood of pursuing violent methods.
“We will not abandon our peaceful strategies, until we achieve victory,” Montaser added.
Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya also condemned the accusation by the police, adding that the group has abandoned violence.
It asserted that it has for long “stood against ideologies calling for violence and takfiry thinking”.
Many members of the outlawed group have been sacked from various syndicates, charity groups, and mosques, and had their assets frozen. Currently, belonging to the group or indicating support to it is considered a crime.