Friday, February 22, 2008

Egyptian Police Detain Scores From Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian police have arrested more than 70 members of the Muslim Brotherhood early Thursday, the latest in a wave of arrests that the banned Islamist group says is connected to upcoming local elections. VOA Correspondent Challiss McDonough has more from Cairo.

Police raided the homes of Muslim Brotherhood members in five provinces at dawn. Accounts differ on the exact number of people detained.

The Muslim Brotherhood's deputy leader, Mohammed Habib, told VOA more than 500 of the group's members are now in detention, with nearly 180 of them arrested during the past week.

He said the arrests are linked to the upcoming municipal election. He said the ruling National Democratic Party is unable to compete with the Brotherhood in a fair poll, so members of the group are being detained to clear the way for the ruling party.

Habib said he expects more arrests before voting day.

The elections are scheduled for April 8.

Although the group is officially banned in Egypt, its members run for office as independents. more here

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