Luxor province governor resigns

June 23, 2013 at 4:21 PM

LUXOR, Egypt, June 23 (UPI) -- The new governor of Egypt's Luxor province resigned Sunday amid a controversy over his links to an Islamist group that carried out terror attacks in 1997.

Luxor Gov. Adel Khayat, of the Construction and Development party, was appointed to his position last week, Ahram Online reported.

The controversy surrounding Khayat was sparked over his membership in the political wing of al-Gamaa al-Islamiya, which was involved in attacks in Luxor province 1997 that resulted in the deaths of 58 tourists, the BBC reported.

Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya has since renounced the use of violence.

Safwat Abdel Ghani, a leader of the political group, said the group had "asked the new governor to resign for the sake of Egypt."

However, Khayat denied that he had anything to do with al-Gamaa al-Islamiya's militant past.

"We will not accept that one drop of blood be spilled because of a position that I did not personally aspire to at any time," Khayat said at a news conference Sunday.

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