The body of the kidnapped former Egyptian cabinet minister, Sheikh Mohamed El-Zahaby, was found in villa in Cairo on Wednesday (6 July) four days after he was seized by gunman believed to belong to an extremist religious sect.
GV Security guards outside Prime Minister's office, Cairo, Egypt
CU Photograph of kidnapped former Cabinet Minister, Sheikh Mohamed Hussein el-Zahaby
SV INTERIOR Deputy Interior Minister General Kheir Allah and other ministers entering hall
SV Minister checking and singing papers
SV Allah talking to others
SV Prime minister Mamdouh Salem entering room and taking seat
SVs PAN ALONG Ministers seated (2 shots)
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Background: The body of the kidnapped former Egyptian cabinet minister, Sheikh Mohamed El-Zahaby, was found in villa in Cairo on Wednesday (6 July) four days after he was seized by gunman believed to belong to an extremist religious sect. Sheikh Zahaby was a former Minister of Religious Endowments, and was strongly critical of the sect. The day before on Tuesday (5 July) the Egyptian Cabinet met to discuss the kidnapping.
SYNOPSIS: Security guards were posted outside the Prime Minister's office in Cairo as the Cabinet met to discuss the kidnappers' demands. An anonymous call on Monday (4 July) to the Cairo office of the international news agency, Reuters, by a man claiming to be one of the kidnappers, said Sheikh Zahaby was already dead.
Cabinet met to discuss the anonymous call, which police were unable to confirm, and the demands of the kidnappers. These included the release of 60 jailed members of a fanatical Moslem sect -- the Society for Repentance and Flight from Sin.
The Prime Minister, Mamdouh Salem supervised the search for Sheikh Zahaby. He was to be among the first at the scene the following day when the body was found. The 67-year old former minister had been strangled with a rope. The body was found after neighbours complained of a smell coming from the building. Police have arrested several suspects, including two men armed with sub-machine guns and two others with bottles of ether police said were used to sprinkle the body to hide the........smell. The discovery of the body came after the Government had agreed in principle to meet some of the kidnappers' demands.