Cairo: One of the high-profile Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leaders, Mohamed Badie, has been arrested on Tuesday by the Egyptian security forces from a residential apartment in the Egyptian capital,Cairo.
According to the state-run Nile TV, Badie was arrested in the Nasr City section of the capital without any resistance. The TV cited the General Abdel Fattah Othman, an Interior Ministry spokesman, as saying.
Badie is accused of inciting violence, Nile TV reported.
His detention came one day after 25 soldiers were killed in a Sinai ambush and onetime ruler Hosni Mubarak won acquittal on a corruption charge.
Suspected militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades struck two buses carrying security forces and killed the soldiers in the city of Rafah, on the border between Egypt and Gaza, Nile TV reported.
Interim President Adly Mansour declared three days of national mourning following the attack, Nile TV said.
The Sinai Peninsula is a lawless area that was the site of frequent attacks even before Egypt’s latest round of turmoil. In May, for example, seven Egyptian solders were kidnapped and held for six days there, a spokesman for Egypt’s armed forces said.
But the attack adds to the persistent tension across the country since the military ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in a coup.
Over the past week, about 900 people – security personnel as well as citizens – have been killed.
Deaths occurred when the military used force to clear two pro-Morsi sit-in sites in Cairo last week and violence raged after pro-Morsi supporters staged demonstrations on Friday.
On Sunday, at least 37 jailed members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement, were reportedly killed in what the Interior Ministry called an attempted jailbreak.
Egypt’s state-run EGYNews agency reported that the prisoners died from tear-gas suffocation and from trampling over each other, and Egypt’s Prosecutor General Office ordered the arrest on Monday of two police officers for their involvement in the incident. The prosecutor general also ordered that three police officers hospitalized for injuries sustained in the incident be held while the investigation continues.
As for the Sinai ambush, the Brotherhood condemned the attack on Egyptian soldiers.
“Our peaceful protests (are) stronger than any weapon, and we don’t accept any violence,” said MuradMohamad Ali, media adviser to the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.
Morsi supporters, many of whom are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and those aligned with the military-backed interim government blame each other for stoking the violence.
Morsi has been in detention since his overthrow. Egyptian prosecutors have extended the detention for 15 days, pending investigations.
Prosecutors have charged him with participating in the detention, torture, murder and attempted murder of Egyptian citizens; broadcasting false news to influence judicial authorities in their inquiries; and inciting thugs to use force and terrorize citizens.