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Egypt: Sisi fires spy chief in surprise decree

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has fired the country’s head of the intelligence in an unexpected move as presidential elections draw nearer.

Sisi’s office announced the move in a terse statement on Thursday. The decree replaced Khaled Fawzi, the head of General Intelligence Directorate, with close Sisi aide and the head of the president’s office, Abbas Kamel as the agency’s interim head.

The president also ordered a cabinet reshuffle last week.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has fired the country’s head of the intelligence in an unexpected move as presidential elections draw near.

Sisi’s office announced the move in a terse statement on Thursday. The decree replaced Khaled Fawzi, the head of General Intelligence Directorate, with close Sisi aide and head of the president’s office, Abbas Kamel, as the agency’s interim head.

The president also ordered a cabinet reshuffle last week.

The presidential polls are to be held in March. The former prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, who had declared his candidacy last month and was once seen as a main challenger to Sisi, said earlier in January that he would not be running.

Sisi has been leading an unassailable rule since ousting Egypt’s first-ever democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi in a coup in 2014.

Ever since the coup, the country’s northern Sinai region has been awash with Takfiri terrorism. The terrorists, mainly based there, have been staging heinous attacks elsewhere in the country.

Sisi named a new Armed Forces chief of staff and announced changes in key security positions last October, after at least 16 police officers were killed in the Western Desert some 200 kilometers (125 miles) southwest of Cairo.

 

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