August 19, 2013
Egyptian Authorities Arrest Muslim Brotherhood Chief
Egyptian authorities have arrested Muslim Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie, escalating a crackdown on the group following the military's ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.
The 70-year-old Badie was taken into custody early Tuesday in a neighborhood of eastern Cairo where for weeks pro-Morsi protesters rallied against Egypt's new interim government.
Badie is due to go on trial August 25 along with other Brotherhood leaders. Authorities accuse them of inciting deadly violence outside the group's headquarters in June, days before the military deposed Mr. Morsi.
Since the July 3 move, the official death toll for violence across Egypt has topped 1,000 people. The Muslim Brotherhood says many more people have died.
Suspected Islamist militants ambushed and killed 24 policemen early Monday in the Sinai Peninsula.
Hours earlier, police near Cairo killed 36 Islamist prisoners who allegedly tried to escape from custody. Egyptian officials say the prisoners were suffocated by tear gas.
The U.S. State Department on Monday condemned all acts of violence in Egypt, but called the prisoner deaths "suspicious." Spokeswoman Jen Psaki also said the U.S. believes all sides must be involved in moving Egypt forward.
Also Monday, a lawyer for former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak said his client will soon be released. Fareed el-Deeb said a court has cleared Mr. Mubarak of charges that he and his sons stole public money for presidential palaces. Judicial sources have not confirmed the claim.
The 85-year-old Mr. Mubarak still faces a retrial on charges he failed to stop the killing of protesters during the popular revolt that swept him from power in 2011.