Cairo: Protesters call for release of militants

April 21, 2006 21:02

Family and friends of 22 young men arrested in Egypt on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks protested Friday against the detentions. More than 1,000 demonstrators gathered in the low-income el-Zawiyah el-Hamrah district of Cairo chanting slogans urging authorities to "Release our innocent sons," and asserting that they would "give our blood in exchange for our freedom." According to eyewitnesses, security forces detained seven protesters, but police sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said only few people gathered briefly. The Interior Ministry announced Wednesday the arrest of members of a newly uncovered Islamist group, the "Al-Ta'efa al-Mansourah," Arabic for the Victorious Sect. Detainees ranged in age from from 19 to 31 years and were accused of planning attacks in Eygpt on tourist areas, natural gas lines, Muslim and Christian clerics.

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