By Ahmed Aboulenein
CAIRO, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Egyptian authorities said on Friday they had arrested members of two recently emerged militant groups, along with weapons, explosives and proof that the organisations had been set up by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Police detained five leaders and other members of the Hasam Movement and Louwaa al-Thawra, the interior ministry said – both groups that have claimed responsibility for assassination attempts on judges, policemen and military officers in recent months.
There was no immediate comment from either organisation, or from the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which says it is a peaceful movement and accuses the government of abuses.
The Brotherhood won Egypt’s first free elections after the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
But the Brotherhood leader who became president, Mohamed Mursi, was himself deposed after mass protests against his rule and replaced by the army’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2013.
Sisi has since overseen a crackdown on opposition in which hundreds of Brotherhood supporters were killed and thousands, including Mursi, jailed or sentenced to death.
Both Hasam – an acronym in Arabic for the Forearms of Egypt Movement which doubles as the word for decisiveness – and Louwaa al-Thawra, or the Revolution Brigade, have claimed responsibility for attacks, saying they are taking revenge for the government crackdown.
Earlier on Friday, an Egyptian judge who tried former President Mohamed Mursi survived an assassination attempt when a parked car exploded as his vehicle drove by.
Public Prosecutor Hisham Barakat, who referred many Brotherhood leaders to trial, was killed in June 2015 by a car bomb.