Several reports by local newspapers alleged the probability of four police officers being the culprits in the armed attack against eight plainclothes police officers in a minibus near Helwan Police Station on 8 May. Official investigations are still ongoing in the case.
El Watan cited a recent bulletin from the Ministry of Interior, which was sent out to all police stations, to arrest four officers who had all stopped coming to work simultaneously.
“This narrative is unbelievable,” former assistant to the interior minister Mohamed Nour El Din told Daily News Egypt on Saturday. “Several media outlets have launched this story as they are in a dispute with the ministry regarding the ‘storming of the Press Syndicate’. This story aims to call into question actions taken by the ministry to arrest criminals.”
The execution of the attack in Helwan follows in the footsteps of extremist militants. They monitored the officers and followed them before carrying out the attack, Nour El Din said.
In a statement, the prosecution denied reports that alleged the involvement of the four missing officers in the Helwan attack. Video footage of the attack was found on a CCTV camera of a governmental institution, the statement read.
“The footage shows four figures moving towards the minibus and then opening fire at the officers. One of the perpetrators ascended into the minibus and the heavy shooting continued,” the statement read.
The video is three-minutes long, however, due to weak lighting, it is difficult to identify the perpetrators’ features, the statement added.
Security expert Khalid Okasha told Daily News Egypt on Saturday: “The prosecution has officially denied the narrative involving the four officers; however, several media outlets are still supporting this chaos though fabricated reports. The attack was carried out by a terrorist group [and two have claimed responsibility].”
The Ministry of Interior has not issued a statement regarding the alleged involvement of the four missing police officers nor was the ministry’s press office available for comment.
Last week, eight plainclothes police officers were killed in an armed attack that targeted a checkpoint near Helwan Police Station, according to a statement issued on the Interior Ministry’s official Facebook page following the attack.
Both Islamic State (IS) and the “Popular Resistance” movement, whose affiliation is unknown, have claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to a statement from IS on 9 May, the attack was carried out as vengeance for women being imprisoned.