Egypt police arrest top Brotherhood leaders as deadly clashes leave at least 10 dead

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Egyptian security forces arrested the head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and another of the movement’s top leaders on July 3, an FJP official and security sources said, after the army toppled Mohamed Morsi from the presidency.

Saad El-Katatni, the head of the FJP and the former speaker of parliament, was arrested along with Rashad al-Bayoumi, one of the Brotherhood’s deputy leaders, the sources said.

Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper reported that arrest warrants had been issued for 300 Brotherhood members, and the security forces were preparing to clear a pro-Mursi rally near Cairo University.
 
The state news agency MENA reported that the police were continuing its efforts to arrest “a number of members of the Muslim Brotherhood who are accused of inciting violence and disturbing general security and peace”.

Morsi held by authorities: Sources

Meanwhile, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman and a security official said that Morsi is being held by the authorities. 

Ahmed Aref, the Brotherhood spokesman, said both Mursi and Essam El-Haddad, a senior aide, were being held but he did not know where. A security official said they were being held at a military intelligence facility. 

Clashes leave at least 10 dead: State media

At least 10 people were killed when opponents and supporters of Egypt’s deposed president clashed after the army announced his removal July 3, state media and officials said.

Gunfire broke out as rocks and bricks flew during fighting in Alexandria, witnesses said. 

At least three people were killed in the Mediterranean city, state news agency MENA reported. An earlier report said at least 50 people were wounded.

One of the dead was a woman stabbed in the stomach, MENA said. The other two were men hit by birdshot. 

“We are dealing with the situation. … We have called for security reinforcements in the area,” said senior police officer Sherif Abdelhamid.

Four people were also killed in clashes in the northern city of Marsa Matrouh, the state governor said. Governor Badr Tantawi told Reuters by telephone from the Mediterranean city close to the Libyan border that the dead were Mursi supporters. 

Three people were also killed in the southern Egyptian city of Minya, including two police, MENA said. It said 14 people were wounded. 

Dozens more were wounded in Fayoum, south of Cairo, where unidentified assailants broke into the local offices of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood’s political wing, MENA said.  The attackers looted the headquarters and set them on fire, it said.

Brotherhood will not use violence: Senior leader

Meanwhile, a senior Muslim Brotherhood politician said the Islamist group had no intention of using violence after the army toppled Morsi, on July 3.

“There is absolutely no direction towards violence. The Brotherhood are not raised on violence. Their cause is a peaceful one, defending their rights, which is stronger than a military coup,” Gamal Heshmat told Reuters by telephone.

A leading member of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Heshmat said what the army had done amounted to a “shameful coup”. Asked what the group would do next, he said, “We are still in the street, we still don’t know if all of the armed forces will accept what al-Sisi has done,” referring to the head of Egypt’s armed forces Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

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