An Egyptian former chief of staff has said he survived an assassination attempt by unknown assailants, a claim brushed off by the Ministry of Interior as "mere elections publicity".
General Sami Anan, a former member of the Supreme Council for Armed Forces to whom ousted President Hosni Mubarak ceded power after the 2011 revolution, has been targeteted in aggressive media campaigns after announcing his plans to run in presidential elections due in the following months.
" The assassination attempt occurred at 17:20 last Monday when Anan was moving out of his office," a statement issued by his office said on Monday, adding that he had been fired at but was in good condition.
The statement quoted Anan as saying that the failed attempt would not "deter him, nor dissuade his will" away from running for the presidential elections.
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Supporters of army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, whose candidacy has not been made official but is largely expected, deemed Anan's plans for an electoral bid a sign of disrespect to a previously issued statement by the military supporting its chief in the race.
Although Anan's office pledged to provide investigation officials with a picture of a car involved in chasing the general’s vehicle, the Interior Ministry denied an attack happened.
Ministry's spokesman Major General Hani Abdullatif said investigations carried out at the site of the alleged attack confirmed that the report was baseless, according to the state-run Middle East News Agency.
"Investigations conducted, as well as testimonies from people in the district, have reaffirmed that no assassination attempt had occurred," Abdullatif said.
Interim President Adly Mansour has yet to set a date for presidential elections, which will be the country's second since Mubarak was forced to step down, and the first since elected civilian President Mohamed Morsi was unseated by the military in July 2013.
Anan was chief of staff from 2005 under Mubarak until 2012, when he was forced to retire from his post by Morsi.
He briefly served as Morsi's consultant, but resigned in July 2013, two days before Morsi's ouster after mass protests against his rule. At the time of his resignation, he declared his support for anti-Morsi protesters.