Gunmen Kill Egyptian General

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Gunmen on a motorcycle killed a top Interior Ministry official in Cairo in the latest blow to a military-backed Egyptian government struggling to curb violence and suppress dissent.

Gunmen Kill Egyptian General

General Mohamed Saeed, head of the ministry's technical office, was shot in his car outside his home in daytime, Reuters reported.

A Sinai-based militant group inspired by al Qaeda, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, said it carried out the attack against the "apostate, criminal" Saeed.

The shooting occurred hours before deposed President Mohamed Mursi appeared in court on charges of kidnapping and killing policemen after a jailbreak during the 2011 uprising that ended President Hosni Mubarak's three decades of autocracy.

Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ousted Mursi in July after mass protests against his rule and is expected to declare soon that he will run for president. With no challenger in sight, that would effectively return Egypt to military rule.

A Sisi presidency would delight many Egyptians, but would anger the Muslim Brotherhood, which helped Mursi become Egypt's first freely elected leader. The government has since declared it a terrorist group. The outlawed Brotherhood denies any links to the militants now waging an increasingly potent insurgency.

Also on Tuesday, gunmen killed a policeman guarding a church in October 6 city, west of Cairo, security sources said.

The Brotherhood says Sisi's removal of Mursi was a coup that reversed the democratic gains of the anti-Mubarak revolt. Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between the security forces and Mursi supporters since August.

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