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Three Suspects Arrested in Failed Attempt to Assassinate Mubarak

August 2, 1995 GMT

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) _ Three Egyptians are in custody for the attempted assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the Ethiopian capital in June, the government announced.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs said late Tuesday that the three belonged to a nine-member assassination team sent to Ethiopia by the Egyptian Islamic fundamentalist group, al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya.

The group has led a three-year campaign to oust Egypt’s secular government and replace it with a strict Islamic regime. About 700 people, most of them police and militants, have been killed.

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Mubarak was not injured and immediately flew home after gunmen opened fire on his motorcade June 26 as he was driving from the airport to the Organization of African Unity summit in downtown Addis Ababa.

Two gunmen were killed by security agents who returned fire and a third was arrested at the scene. Two Ethiopian security men also were killed in the shootout.

The ministry statement identified the three suspects in custody as Sofid Hassan Addulkani Azik, El-Arab Sadeq Hassan Mohammad and Abdel-Kerim el-Nazi Abdel-Razi.

Azik was arrested at the scene of the attack, and the other two were arrested separately over the next two days.

State-controlled Ethiopian Radio, quoting the statement, said the suspects had not been charged and gave no explanation why it took so long for authorities to announce the arrests.

Five days after the attack, Ethiopian police said they shot and killed three of the gunmen at a house near the scene of the attack. Police said the dead included Sherif Abdel-Rahman Tewfik el-Madani, who they identified as the assassination team leader.

In its announcement Tuesday, the Ministry of Internal Affairs said Abdel-Rahman had ``a long experience in carrying out terrorist activities in a number of countries.″

The ninth member of the assassination team escaped and fled the country. The ministry identified him as Hussein Ahmed Shahaf Ali. Earlier he had been identified as Siraj Mohammed.

Ethiopian Radio said the assassination attempt was planned and coordinated from outside Ethiopia by a member of the leadership of al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya and his aide.

The ministry identified the leader by his code names Mustafa Hamza and Ibrahim. It identified the aide by the codename Ezet Yassin.