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CAIRO — The body of a missing Italian student was found with signs of torture, including multiple stab wounds and cigarette burns, by the side of a highway on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital, an investigating prosecutor told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old graduate student, went missing in Cairo on Jan. 25 — the fifth anniversary of the uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
His body was found Wednesday along the Cairo-Alexandria Road in western Cairo and was positively identified by his roommate, said the prosecutor, Ahmed Nagi, who leads the investigation team on the case.
Nagi said the cause of death was still under investigation but said "all of his body, including his face" had bruises, cuts from stabbings and burns from cigarettes. He said it appeared to have been a "slow death."
An employee at Cairo's central morgue confirmed that Regeni's body was brought there.
Italy's Foreign Ministry said it has urgently summoned the Egyptian ambassador over Regeni's death, seeking maximum cooperation in the investigation. The ministry said in a statement on Thursday that Italy renewed its request to launch an immediate investigation and include Italian experts. The statement also requested that the body be returned to Italy as soon as possible.
The deputy head of criminal investigations in Cairo's twin province of Giza, Alaa Azmi, earlier had said an initial investigation into Regeni's death suggested a road accident.
The University of Cambridge lists Regeni as a student of its Department of Politics and International Studies. Regeni's body was found following an online campaign searching for him after he went missing.
The Egyptian authorities had intensified a crackdown on dissent ahead of the Jan. 25 anniversary, with police raiding apartments in downtown Cairo seeking signs of plans for organized protests and checking people's social media accounts.
Egypt has seen years of upheaval since Mubarak's ouster in 2011.