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More than 200 Detained after Egyptian Police Crush Demonstrations

Members of Egypt's secular opposition and the banned Muslim Brotherhood say more than 200 people are under arrest following pro-democracy demonstrations Thursday that riot police brutally crushed.

Egypt's Interior Ministry acknowledged Friday that arrests were made, but it did not release numbers. The ministry said the marchers gathered illegally and were disturbing the peace in demonstrations protesting a disciplinary hearing for two judges who alleged that last year's elections were fraudulent.

The statement said a prosecutor is interrogating what it called "elements" who mostly belong to illegal groups.

The Muslim Brotherhood is officially banned. Candidates from the Brotherhood ran in parliamentary elections last year as independents and won 88 seats.

Thousands of riot police, armed with sticks, beat demonstrators and journalists and dragged them away in Thursday's crackdown in Cairo.

The U.S. State Department Thursday expressed "deep concern" about reports of the violent crackdown on protesters, and it urged the Cairo government to permit peaceful demonstrations.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.