Cairo: The prosecutor in Egypt`s second
city Alexandria ordered on Saturday the arrest of 12 police officers
accused of torturing to death a suspect in a deadly New Year`s
church attack, a judicial official said.
Adel Emara ordered the arrest of the officers, who
allegedly killed Sayed Belal, a Salafi (Muslim
fundamentalist), who was arrested a week after a bombing
attack that killed more than 20 people.
Belal`s bruised body was handed to his family the day
after he was arrested, rights groups said at the time.
The attack, which took place three weeks before the
outbreak of a popular uprising that ousted president Hosni
Mubarak, was blamed on the Palestinian Army of Islam, which
has links to al Qaeda.
Around 40 people were arrested in connection with the
bombing, but no one has been brought to trial, and the
suspects are thought to have escaped from prison during the
chaotic times surrounding the uprising, a security official
Routine police torture under the Mubarak regime was a
driving force behind the uprising that toppled the veteran
strongman in February.
On January 1, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside
the Al-Qiddissin church in the Mediterranean city of
Alexandria as worshippers emerged from a New Year`s Eve mass.
Egypt`s Christians, who make up 10 percent of the
80-million population, have been the target of numerous
attacks over the years.