Safwat Hegazy, a fiery Salafi preacher, and Mourad Ali, a spokesman for the Brotherhood’s political wing, were arrested.
Two more top leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood were arrested today while trying to flee the country as part of the military-backed government’s widening crackdown on the Islamist group that is demanding the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsy.
Safwat Hegazy, a fiery Salafi preacher, was arrested on Libyan border, while Mourad Ali, a spokesman for the Brotherhood’s political wing, was detained at the Cairo airport, trying to catch a flight to Italy, Egypt’s state—run MENA news agency reported today.
Hegazy is wanted over charges of instigating violence.
The arrests come a day after Mohammed Badie (70), the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested in an apartment close to Rabia al-Adawiya square, where Islamist supporters of Morsi held a vigil before it was cleared in a bloody crackdown by security forces last week.
They were among about 100 members of the Muslim Brotherhood taken into custody yesterday.
The brotherhood, locked in a deadly battle with the military for control of Egypt, slammed the interim government’s ongoing “bloody military coup.”
In a statement, the group’s Freedom and Justice Party described the charges against Badie as “trumped up” and “political.”
“It is well-known that all the charges brought against the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated political party, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) as well as the leaders of the Anti-Coup, Pro-Democracy National Alliance are implausible fabricated charges with no legally acceptable evidence,” the statement said.
“What they are facing are nothing but political trumped up charges thinly painted with criminal colours,” Ali Kamal, a lawyer for the Brotherhood, said in the statement.
The court will convene at Tora prison in Cairo where the ousted leader is being held, judicial sources said.
Arresting Badie “is not the end of the group, which will remain in the hearts of millions of Egyptians,” said Ahmed Arif, spokesman for the Brotherhood.
Badie will be detained for 15 days for investigation on accusations of inciting violence and killing protesters, the Ministry of Interior said. The detention could be extended, as has been done with Morsi.
Mahmoud Ezzat, Badie’s deputy, was named supreme guide on a temporary basis.
A state of emergency is in force amid a crackdown on Islamists opposed to the army’s ousting of Morsi on July 3 with almost 900 people killed in the violence.