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Egypt Orders Arrest of Muslim Brotherhood Leaders

The Muslim Brotherhood's General Guide Mohammed Badie speaks onstage as military helicopters fly overhead before tens of thousands of supporters in Cairo, Egypt, July 5, 2013.
Egypt's top prosecutor has ordered the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leaders, even as interim leaders plan to offer the group a cabinet post in a transitional government.

The prosecutor's office says it issued warrants for Brotherhood chief Mohammed Badie, one of his deputies, and eight others. Prosecutors say they allegedly incited violence that killed 51 people Monday in Cairo

A Brotherhood spokesman calls the warrants "the same old police state tactics."

"The issue is not about these icons [of the Muslim Brotherhood, who were ordered arrested]. Those who died in cold blood are much more important to us than the icons. Every Egyptian that is being arrested right now or those who were killed are more important to us than the political icons. However, we are present in the squares, we are present in the Egyptian provinces. If they [Brotherhood leaders] wanted to flee, they would have traveled abroad before all these events of 30 June and when it became apparent that there would be a military coup," said Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Aref.

Also Wednesday, the foreign ministry said ousted President Mohamed Morsi is being detained for his own safety and is being treated with dignity.

Meanwhile, the White House says it is taking its time to determine how it regards the change of power in Egypt.

Under U.S. law, the administration would be obligated to cut off more than $1 billion in aid if it determines that the military carried out a coup.

But spokesman Jay Carney says it is not in the U.S. interest to make immediate changes in aid to Cairo.

Carney says the White House does not support any individual or group in Egypt, but does back a process leading toward a transitional government that is inclusive and democratic.

Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, the hardline Islamist Nour Party, and other smaller parties are critical of the transition plan laid out by the military and interim President Adly Mansour. The plan includes amending the constitution and holding new parliamentary and presidential elections. The Brotherhood is demanding Morsi's reinstatement.