The Interior Ministry said Thursday that Egyptian officers killed four men who the ministry suggested were responsible for the murder of an Italian doctoral student whose brutalized body was found in early February showing extensive signs of torture.
In a statement released on its Facebook page, the ministry said that the men were part of a gang that preyed on foreigners and that officers had killed them during a shootout. The authorities later found property belonging to the student, Giulio Regeni, at the home of a sister of one of the gang members, the statement said.
However, the prosecutor investigating Mr. Regeni’s case told The Associated Press on Thursday that he had no information about the gang and said “there are no suspects.”
The government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been under pressure to solve the killing of Mr. Regeni since his disappearance in late January, because of a growing conviction around the world that Egypt’s security forces were responsible. The case has drawn outrage in Italy.
Italian officials have vowed to keep up pressure on the Egyptian government to conduct a thorough inquiry, and have dispatched a team of investigators to Cairo.
There was no immediate comment from the Italian government after the Egyptian announcement, which thanked the Italian investigators.
Several factors had led to the suspicion that Egyptian security agencies had played a role in the student’s death.
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SOURCE: NY Times, Kareem Fahim