Sisi replaces head of Egypt's intelligence agency

President appoints close aide Abbas Kamel as temporary head of General Intelligence Directorate

Egyptian intelligence chief Khaled Fawzi (C) walks with head of Hamas delegation Saleh Arouri and Fatah leader Azzam Ahmad as they sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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Egyptian president Abdel Fatah El Sisi has appointed a close aide as temporary head of the country's intelligence agency in place of Khaled Fawzi, who had held the post since December 2014.

The decision was announced in one-line statement from the president's office on Thursday that made no mention of Mr Fawzi or why he was replaced as head of the General Intelligence Directorate.

The statement said the president's office director Abbas Kamel, a retired army general who works behind the scenes for Mr El Sisi, would run the agency until a new director is found.

The General Intelligence Directorate is the Egypt's equivalent of the US Central Intelligence Agency, but it has also taken on tasks that normally fall under the mandate of a domestic security agency.

The agency's chiefs have traditionally hailed from the military.