Egypt uncovers Brotherhood ‘military wing’

Egypt’s interior ministry says it has broken up a “military wing” of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the most detailed accusation yet implicating the group in militant attacks.

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The Brotherhood, the group of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, says it rejected violence decades ago and believes in peaceful protest against the new, military-installed government.

The government designated it a terrorist organisation in December after the suicide car bombing of a police headquarters that killed 15 people without offering any proof of the Brotherhood’s involvement in the attack.

The interior ministry said on Sunday it uncovered a cell organised by a Brotherhood leader that killed five policemen in an attack on a checkpoint south of Cairo last month.

If the accusation is true, it would confirm suspicions some Brotherhood members are joining a growing militant campaign amid a massive crackdown on the Islamists.

“Information showed that leaders of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood instructed a member of the administrative office… to form a military wing,” the statement said.

Scores of policemen and soldiers have been killed in bombings and shootings since Morsi’s overthrow in July.

An al-Qaeda-inspired group based in the north of the Sinai peninsula, a hub for militant activity, has claimed the deadliest attacks.

The interior ministry said police have arrested five suspects in the Brotherhood “military wing” so far, including a young man shown on state television confessing his involvement in the January 23 attack on the checkpoint.

The ministry identified him as the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader.

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