CAIRO — Egypt on Sunday accused the Palestinian terrorist movement Hamas of being involved along with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood in last year’s killing of the country’s top prosecutor Hisham Barakat.
“This plot was carried out on the orders of the Muslim Brotherhood… in close coordination with Hamas, which played a very important role in the assassination of the chief prosecutor from start to finish,” Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar told reporters.
Hamas denied the allegation.
Cairo regularly accuses Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, of supporting attacks in Egypt.
Barakat, 64, was killed in a car bomb attack on June 29 in the upscale east Cairo district of Heliopolis.
He was the most senior government official killed since jihadists launched an insurgency following the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
His assassination, which has never been claimed by any group, came as a blow to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who overthrew Morsi and won elections in 2014 on a pledge to wipe out Islamist militants.
After ousting Morsi, the authorities began a blistering crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood movement that has left hundreds of people dead and thousands jailed.
The Brotherhood, the country’s main opposition movement for decades, was blacklisted as a “terrorist group” in December 2013.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri rejected the claim that his group colluded with the Brotherhood to kill Barkakat.
In a fuming statement, Zuhri condemned the allegation, calling it “false” and asserting that it is not in line with efforts to develop the relationship between Hamas and Cairo.
He said the claims exploit Hamas to make hay in “internal Egyptian disputes.”