Former Egyptian Cabinet Minister, Dr Mohammed Hussein Zahabi, who was found murdered in a Cairo suburb on Wednesday (6 July) was buried on Thursday (7 July).
Former Egyptian Cabinet Minister, Dr Mohammed Hussein Zahabi, who was found murdered in a Cairo suburb on Wednesday (6 July) was buried on Thursday (7 July). Dr Zahabi was Minister for Religious Endowments, and a severe critic of the fanatical Moslem religious group which has claimed responsibility for the killing.
SYNOPSIS: Large crowds gathered for the funeral which started from Cairo's most revered Al-Azhar mosque. They were shouting support for Egypt's President Anwar Sadat and slogans against the fanatical group called the Society for Repentance and Flight from Sin which is banned in Egypt.
Egyptian vice-president Hosny Mubarak and Premier Mamdouh Salem were among the mourners, who also included Dr Zahabi's students. A number of Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials also followed the cortege as it left the mosque amid tight security. Police struggled to hold the vast and emotional crowd back to the roadside. Prime Minister Salem said the Moslem Society's members wanted to undermine democracy by imposing themselves on the country through terrorist means. "We totally reject terrorism, underground activities and fanaticism," he said.
Dr Zahabi had been shot to death after being kidnapped by the society. His body was found in a villa blindfolded with a scarf. The kidnappers had demanded the release of 60 of the society's jailed members and 200 thousand Egyptian pounds (US 300 thousand dollars) in return for Dr Zahabi's life. He was the first political kidnap victim in modern Egyptian history. The extremists have promised to launch a campaign of terror in the country, but have been warned by Prime Minister Salem that the government will strike hard at them if they carry out their threat. The Society has also claimed responsibility for two bomb blasts which injured 10 people. A number of people have been arrested, and President Sadat has ordered a military tribunal to try them.