Egyptian police officers referred to criminal court over killing of Salafist

CAIRO (BNO NEWS) — Five Egyptian police officers were referred to the criminal court on Wednesday for their alleged part in the torturing and killing of a young Salafist who was arrested for his alleged involvement in a bomb attack, the Al-Ahram state-owned newspaper reported.

El-Sayed Belal was held by police on suspicion of being involved in the New Year’s Eve bomb attack on the Two Saints Church in Alexandria that left 21 people dead and 97 injured. Belal’s corpse was found on January 17, apparently having been tortured to death.

Four of the officers who were referred to the court remain at large while a fifth police officer was captured in the wake of the incident. The five men also face charges of sodomy after other suspects said they were sexually abused, Al-Ahram reported on its website.

The international community condemned the blast that took place outside the church as worshipers were leaving the New Year’s mass in the early hours of January 1st. Initial reports indicated it was a car bomb but the Ministry of Interior later informed that the attack was perpetrated by a suicide bomber.

Eight days after Belal’s corpse was found, the January 25 revolution erupted, leading to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. According to Amnesty International, at least 840 people were killed and over 6,000 people were injured in the violent repression that took place during the uprising.

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