Wednesday Aug 14, 201309:20 PM GMT
Egypt police detain senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders
Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in camp set up by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo’s eastern Nasr City district on August 14, 2013.
Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in camp set up by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo’s eastern Nasr City district on August 14, 2013.
A number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders have been detained after Egyptian security forces raided a protest camp of thousands of supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.


Egypt’s security officials and state television said on Wednesday that police arrested senior Brotherhood leaders Mohamed el-Beltagy, Essam el-Erian, group spokesman Ahmed Aref and its chief theologian Abdel-Rahman el-Bar, The Associated Press reported.

Safwat Hegazy, a preacher and a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, was also among the detainees.

El-Beltagy, el-Erian and Hegazy are accused of inciting violence following Morsi’s ouster.

The five were arrested shortly after police gained control of the camp near the Rabaah al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district.

On Wednesday, scores of people were killed when security forces moved in to clear out thousands of pro-Morsi supporters from the camp near the Mosque and another smaller camp in Nahda Square in Giza, south of Cairo.

Thousands of Morsi's supporters had been camped at the sites since before he was toppled early last month, and had vowed not leave the streets until he was reinstated to office.

The Health Ministry said 235 civilians were killed and more than 2,000 injured across Egypt on Wednesday.

Egypt’s Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told reporters that 43 policemen were also killed in the violence.

"Eighteen police officers, including two generals and two colonels, 15 policemen, nine conscripts and a civilian employee of the police" were killed, Ibrahim said.

The Muslim Brotherhood, however, put the death toll far higher, saying more than 2,000 people were killed in the police crackdown on Morsi supporters.

The Egyptian army had earlier warned of taking action against the supporters of the ousted president.

Meanwhile, the interim Egyptian government imposed a month-long state of emergency as unrest sweeps across the Arab nation.

A curfew was also imposed in Cairo, Alexandria and several provinces between 19:00 local time (1700 GMT) and 06:00 (0400 GMT).

The measure was taken because the "security and order of the nation face danger due to deliberate sabotage, and attacks on public and private buildings and the loss of life by extremist groups," the office of Egypt’s president said in a statement.

Rights activists said the move would give legal cover for the army to make arrests.

Tension has intensified in Egypt since July 3 when the Egyptian army removed Morsi from office. The army also suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament.

MN/MHB
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