Egypt arrests important Muslim Brotherhood politician

Egyptian police captured senior Muslim Brotherhood official Mohamed El-Beltagi yesterday, security sources said, as they pressed on with a crackdown that has put most of the Islamist group’s top leaders behind bars.

Beltagi had urged Egyptians to join rallies against the military today, in a recorded statement aired by the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera TV news network this week.

Since deposing President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government on July 3, the military-backed authorities have killed hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters and arrested the bulk of the Brotherhood’s leaders in what they call a fight against terrorism.

The Brotherhood’s top leader, Mohamed Badie, and his deputies Khairat al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumy have already been put on trial on charges including incitement to violence in connection with a protest on July 8, in a prosecution they dismiss as politically motivated.

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