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Egypt Takes Custody of Prominent Islamist Militant


Egypt says it has taken custody of a leading member of a militant Islamist group that plotted to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak a decade ago.

Egypt's interior minister, Habib al-Adli, told the state-run daily newspaper al-Ahram Sunday Mustafa Hamza, chairman of the outlawed group Gama'a al-Islamiya, would be re-tried for the attempt on President Mubarak's life.

Hamza had been sentenced to death in absentia after he was found guilty of planning to assassinate Mr. Mubarak during a visit to Ethiopia in 1995.

Hamza had left Egypt in the mid 1980's and went to Afghanistan, where he stayed until the 1998 bombing raids there that followed terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

Egypt said he then fled to Iran. Tehran denies reports it recently handed Hamza over to Egypt, and says he was never in the country.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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