Egyptian police arrested Tuesday 62 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group in an ongoing crackdown ahead of local elections in April 8, security sources said. ( dpa )
The group members clashed with police in different cities across the country, security officials told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
The members were charged with belonging to an outlawed political group.
The Muslim Brotherhood is formally banned but its candidates ran in recent legislative elections as independents and won one fifth of the seats in parliament. At least 350 members of the brotherhood have been arrested since mid-February. This latest crackdown comes as the country braces for local elections April 8. Egyptian authorities usually round up the group's candidates ahead of elections then release them afterwards. But the group said its detained candidates would run election campaigns from jail.
The group has recently announced it would not use its Islamist slogan "Islam is the solution" in the election campaign, in a gesture meant to alleviate fears of Egypt's secular opposition and Christian minority of its Islamist political platform. The group says it wants to establish an Islamic state where civil liberties and democracy are respected. But many people fear the group is disguising its radical beliefs under the banner of democracy.