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August 30, 2013 6:56 am

Report: Hamas Members Arrested in Attack on Egyptian Police

avatar by Steven Emerson

A Hamas festival in Gaza. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Egyptian authorities reportedly have arrested 11 people suspected of killing 25 Egyptian police officers in an ambush last week. Five of the suspects are Hamas members, the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat reports.

The arrests took place several days ago but were kept secret for security reasons, the newspaper reported. Three foreign nationals were among the suspects.

A Hamas spokesman denied the allegation, calling it part of an Egyptian campaign to delegitimize the group and justify Egypt’s recent closing of smuggling tunnels into Hamas-run Gaza.

The 25 police officers were shot “execution style” while riding in two mini-buses in the northern Sinai. The attack came after the Egyptian army’s crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood encampments left hundreds dead. The Asharq Al-Awsat report is based on an unnamed source.

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It marks the latest example of Egyptian officials linking Hamas to attacks within Egypt since the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, last month. Officials charged Morsi with involvement in a 2011 jailbreak they allege was orchestrated by Hamas.

The attack freed 30 Muslim Brotherhood members and left 14 security officers dead.

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