Cairo: Six Muslim Brotherhood members have been killed in a shootout with Egyptian police on the outskirts of Cairo, the interior ministry said Tuesday.
In a brief statement, the ministry said police exchanged fire with the “terrorist” group in 6 October City, on the southwestern edge of the capital, accusing it of “planning a series of terror operations”.
The announcement comes after rare protests broke out in several Egyptian cities on Friday and Saturday, with state media accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of influencing the protesters.
US President Donald Trump has thrown his weight behind his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fattah Al Sissi. “Everybody has demonstrations,” Trump said late Monday, referring to the protests against Al Sissi.
“No, I’m not concerned with it,” Trump said at a meeting with Al Sissi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly gathering in New York.
Earlier this week, small, rare protests were held in some Egyptian cities against Al Sissi, who has been in office since 2014.
Trump, a key ally of Al Sissi, hailed the Egyptian president as a “great leader” crediting him with ending turmoil in Egypt.
For his part, Al Sissi, said that Egyptians will not accept to be ruled again by Islamists. He also warned that “political Islam” will keep instability in the Middle East.
In 2013, Al Sissi, then a defence minister, led the army’s overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi following enormous street protests against his one-year rule.
He is credited with restoring stability to Egypt after years of unrest and revitalising its ailing economy.
The recent protests in Egypt were in response to a call from Egyptian dissident businessman Mohammad Ali, who is living in Spain where he has released viral videos alleging massive corruption by the military and the government. Al Sissi has dismissed the allegations, calling them “mere lies”.