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Egypt Arrests 19 Al-Qaida Suspects

Authorities in Egypt have arrested 19 people with suspected links to al-Qaida.

Egypt's interior minister said in an interview with the state-owned Al-Ahram daily on Tuesday that the group includes Tunisians and Libyans.

Habib al-Adly said the group was using Egypt as a transit point from which they would travel to Iraq to join al-Qaida groups there. He added that security forces had confiscated weapons and ammunition.

The interior minister did not say when or where the arrests occurred, but he added that the group was not behind a church bombing on New Year's Day that killed 23 people and wounded nearly 100 others in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria.

On Sunday, al-Adly announced that the government believes the church attack was carried out by the Army of Islam, a Palestinian group linked to al-Qaida.

The Army of Islam denied any involvement, in a swift response to the allegations.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.