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Hussein Halawa. DCUSoC via YouTube

Four Irish citizens being held at Cairo prison

Speaking to, their father Hussein Halawa said he has not been able to contact them since yesterday evening.

Updated 8.07pm

THE FOUR IRISH citizens who were caught up in the Cairo mosque stand-off yesterday are all being held at a prison in the city, it has emerged.

Speaking to, their father Hussein Halawa, who is the Imam at the Clonskeagh mosque in Dublin, said that information coming from Egypt suggests that his three daughters and his son were all taken by security forces when they raided the mosque yesterday.

Immediately after security forces stormed the mosque, 21-year-old Omaima Halawa called her family in Dublin to tell them she and one of her sisters, Fatima, aged 23, were both being arrested. However she said she did not know the whereabouts of her other sister Somaia, 27 or her brother Ibrihim, aged 17.

“When they went out of the mosque yesterday, some people took everything from them so I think someone gave her a phone to use for a minute,” he said. “She said ‘Dad, I am with the army and policemen and I don’t know anything about my brother and sister’”.

Halawa said that he has not had any contact with any of his four missing children since then. However a call from a woman in Cairo today who had also been in the mosque with them suggested that all four were arrested and are being held at Tora Prison.

“I have been trying to phone them all day today but nothing,” Halawa said. “It’s very bad, their mother is crying all the time. They just went over to go on a summer holiday, they live here with me, but they went there for a holiday to stay with their aunt.”

Speaking to RTÉ, Minister of State Joe Costello confirmed that the four Irish citizens are being detained at Tora Prison and said that the Irish ambassador is now trying to ensure that they are in good health.

Originally published at 1.14pm

Read: Irish women reportedly arrested after Cairo mosque stand-off>

Photos: More than 60 killed in violent clashes on Egypt’s ‘Friday of anger’>

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