Scores of Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested Thursday on terror charges, a day after Egypt’s military-backed interim government declared the group a terrorist organization.
The crackdown extended beyond Cairo, as prosecutors in Alexandria ordered that seven Brotherhood members be detained for 15 days pending investigations over charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation, incitement of violence, and blocking of roads. Among the seven arrested by the security forces was former legislator Mahmoud Ateya
In the Nile Delta governorate of Sharqiya, security forces arrested 16 members of the Brotherhood on similar charges. The head of Sharqiya security said the suspects were distributing leaflets “promoting the ideas of the organisation” and “inciting violence”.
In the Nile Delta city of Zagazig, prosecutors ordered the detention of 11 Brotherhood members for 15 days pending investigations over charges of belonging to a terrorist organization and the attempted murder of students and security guards, after university protests ended in clashes.
In a press statement on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Hossam Eissa said the Cabinet were formally declaring the Brotherhood a terrorist group, following a bomb that killed 16 people in the Delta city of Mansoura near the Security Directorate on Tuesday.
Sinai-based Islamists Ansar Bayt Al-Maqadis claimed responsibility for the attack, as the Brotherhood denied any links.
A bomb blast in a Cairo suburb wounded five people on Thursday. A second device was defused.
There was no claim of responsibility.
US Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy and “expressed concern” about the terrorist designation of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Kerry condemned the bomb attacks but “underscored the need for an inclusive political process across the political spectrum that respects the fundamental human rights of all Egyptians in order to achieve political stability and democratic change,” according to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.