CAIRO - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has appointed members of the Muslim Brotherhood as provincial governors, moves seen as part of a drive to purge loyalists of ousted Hosni Mubarak from state bodies and strengthen support for the new Islamist leader.

The president's office announced on Tuesday that it had picked 10 new governors, and said all those appointed were chosen on merit rather than party affiliation.

At least three of the new names are known members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group banned under Mubarak. They took posts in Minya, Kafr el-Sheikh and Manufiya. One newspaper said up to three others had loose links to the Islamist group.

Three army generals were appointed governors in Suez, Red Sea and North Sinai, near sensitive border areas. The army launched a campaign against militants in Sinai after Islamists killed 16 Egyptian border police near the border with Israel in August.

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