Egyptian security forces have arrested thirty-one alleged members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, in the course of a secret meeting held north of Cairo, the latest in a crackdown on the movement, security sources said Sunday.
The 31, who were meeting at the house of an alleged leader of the Brotherhood, an estimated seventy kilometers north of the capital, were accused of trying to revive a banned organization, they said, according to AFP.
According to emergency laws in force since President Anwar al-Sadat was assassinated by Islamic militants in the year 1981, the 31 are being detained for 15 days without formal charges, security sources said.
Last week, Egyptian security forces arrested 28 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood on charges of planning a political demonstration at Cairo's al-Azhar mosque. The emergency law prevents most forms of public demonstration.
Scores of suspected Brotherhood members were also detained in connection with scuffles that broke out in June 27 parliamentary by-elections in Alexandria, in which two seats contested were won by the ruling National Democratic Party amidst accusations of fraud and police interference.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest Islamic group in Egypt, calls for the establishment of an Islamic state, however rejects the use of violence. Some of its activities are tolerated and 17 "independent" candidates backed by the Brotherhood won seats in Egypt's 454-member parliament in the year 2000. (Albawaba.com)
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