Anas Beltagi latest member of Muslim Brotherhood arrested in Egypt

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 December, 2013, 9:30pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 3:19am


Egyptian security forces have arrested the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader on charges of inciting violence, the interior ministry said, in the latest move in a crackdown against the group now branded a terrorist organisation.

Anas Beltagi was arrested on Monday with two others in an apartment in Nasr City, the same district where security forces in August broke up protests calling for the reinstatement of President Mohammed Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who was ousted by the army in July.

They were found in possession of a shotgun and ammunition, the interior ministry said.

Security forces launched a crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in August, arresting several leaders including Mursi and putting them on trial for inciting terrorism and violence. Hundreds have been killed.

Since Mursi's overthrow, security forces have been struggling with some of the worst violence Egypt has seen in decades but the Brotherhood has denied any links to violence or terrorism.

The government last week formally listed the group as a terrorist organisation and accused it of carrying out a suicide bomb attack on a police station that killed 16 people. The Brotherhood denied involvement.

Yesterday a Cairo court sentenced 139 Brotherhood members to two years in jail and a fine of 5,000 Egyptian pounds (HK$5,545) each for engaging in violent actions, protesting and rioting.

Last month Egypt issued a protest law making it illegal to hold demonstrations without the approval of the police.

Clashes between protesters and security forces also resumed yesterday at Al Azhar University, a centre of violent protests since September.