[QODLink]
Middle East
Egypt presidential hopeful survives attack
Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh released from hospital after suffering concussion in carjacking incident north of Cairo.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2012 20:19
Attack highlights deteriorating security across Egypt since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak [EPA]

Egyptian presidential hopeful Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh has been released from hospital after he was violently beaten and his car hijacked, police and his spokesman have said.

Aboul Fotouh is campaigning as an independent for the presidency and was on his way back from a rally in Menoufia, 60km north of Cairo, when he was attacked.

He was being driven back to Cairo when his vehicle was blocked by assailants, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported on Friday.

Aboul Fotouh was attacked by masked gunmen late on Thursday and struck three times in the head with the butt of an automatic rifle, Ali Bahnasawy, his spokesman, said.

The attackers drove off with the vehicle.

Campaign officials said the motive for the carjacking was not immediately clear, but suspected it might have been a targeted attack.

"We don't believe it's random, but we're not sure yet," Bahnasawy said.

Protection requested

Bahnasawy said some people in Menoufia had asked suspicious questions about Aboul Fotouh's route and travel details before he left the event.

Police officials said they were investigating the incident and searching for suspects.

Bahnasawy said their team has asked for extra police protection for Aboul Fotouh after the attack.

Aboul Fotouh is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has emerged as Egypt's most powerful Islamist group and controls nearly half of the seats in the country's new parliament. The movement expelled him when he declared his intention to run for president.

The Muslim Brotherhood has vowed not to field a candidate in the elections, which are slated to take place by early June.

The attack on Aboul Fotouh, just months before presidential elections are to be held, highlighted the deteriorating security situation across Egypt after the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak from power a year ago.

While many blame the interior ministry for the deteriorating security, others see it as part of the failure by the ruling military council to steer the country through what was supposed to be a transition to democracy.

During the 18-day uprising, more than 23,000 prisoners were either let out or broke out of prison during a collapse of the police force.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list