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Egypt arrests 19 al-Qaida suspects bound for Iraq

by The Associated Press | January 25, 2011 at 7:16 a.m.

— Egypt’s interior minister says 19 Arabs suspected of links to al-Qaida were arrested last month in Egypt en route to Iraq.

Habib el-Adly says the militants, who are from Tunisia and Libya, were using Egypt as a transit point trying to make their way to Iraq to join al-Qaida groups there.

He says weapons, ammunition and documents related to al-Qaida were confiscated with the suspects.

El-Adly stressed that those arrested have no connection to the New Year’s Day suicide bombing of a Christian Coptic church in the port city of Alexandria that killed 21 people. Egypt has blamed that attack on the Palestinian Army of Islam, another al-Qaida inspired group.

The minister’s remarks were published Tuesday in Egypt’s leading Al-Ahram daily.

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