Security sources said 32 Brotherhood supporters were held in a
second wave of arrests since Wednesday, when the government
designated the group a terrorist organization.
Security forces were stationed throughout the capital by the
beginning of midday prayers and after one person died late on
Thursday in street clashes ignited by political tension.
Officials have issued a new round of harsher warnings against anyone
taking part in protests in support of the Islamist movement that ran
the country until July, saying they will be punished under terrorism
Some analysts warn the escalating crackdown on the Brotherhood risks
triggering more violence in a country already facing the worst
internal strife in its modern history.
The declaration against the Brotherhood came after the government
accused the group of carrying out a suicide attack that killed 16
people on Tuesday, the latest in a series of attacks that have
raised fears of an Islamist insurrection.
The Brotherhood condemned the attack, which a Sinai-based group
claimed responsibility for.
The government has warned that anyone taking part in pro-Brotherhood
protests face five years in prison. Jail terms for those accused
under the terror law can stretch up to life imprisonment.
Brotherhood leaders face the death penalty under the law.
Police arrested 14 supporters of the Brotherhood in the Cairo suburb
of Giza on Friday morning. The men were accused of participating in
recent "riots and violence", state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported,
but a security source told Reuters that the men were arrested for
belonging to a terrorist group.
Wednesday's declaration gives authorities wider scope in what has
already been a fierce security crackdown against Brotherhood since
the army overthrew President Mohamed Mursi in July.
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The Brotherhood, which won every election since the ouster of Hosni
Mubarak in early 2011 and propelled Mursi to power 18 months ago,
has been driven underground since the army deposed him following
Sixteen men were arrested on Friday in the Nile Delta province of
Gharbiya, security sources said. State news agency said that the men
were members of the Brotherhood. Another two were arrested in the
town of Fayoum, south of Cairo.
The campaign has seen thousands of Brotherhood members and
In spite of the pressure, the group has continued near-daily
protests, most recently concentrating its demonstrations at
universities, where students have clashed with police.
In a statement condemning the government's freezing of the funds of
Islamist charity groups, the Brotherhood accused the government of
spreading Christianity by empowering Coptic Christian charities over
Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew Mursi, said on
Thursday that Egypt would be "steadfast" in the face of terrorism.
Sisi urged citizens to trust the army and the police. "We are
capable of moving Egypt toward stability, security, and progress,"
(Editing by John Stonestreet)
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