Egypt police hold 22 Brotherhood activists-sources

Egyptian police have detained 22 university students loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood opposition group, security officials said on Sunday.The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said police rounded up the students in the town of Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean Sea. They did not elaborate.

Security authorities launch periodic detention campaigns against the Brotherhood, Egypt’s strongest opposition group, holding its members for days or weeks, often without charge, before releasing them.

The government says the Brotherhood is illegal but the Islamist group operates openly and fields candidates in election as independents to bypass the state ban. Its members won nearly one-fifth of the seats in the lower house of the parliament in 2005.

Authorities rounded up nearly 1,000 Brotherhood activists ahead of elections to the upper house of parliament in June. The group, which rejects violence, failed to win a single seat in the polls that were marred by reports of widespread irregularities.

Police detained around 50 students from the Muslim Brotherhood in the coastal city of Alexandria in late June.

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