Police on Friday arrested 16 prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders and businessmen for allegedly holding a secret meeting of the banned movement, a police official and the Islamic opposition group said.
The arrests occurred as police raided a house where the group was meeting, the police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Essam el-Erian, a key Brotherhood leader was among the arrested, the official said, adding that the detained members' activities at "reviving efforts" of the outlawed group had led to the arrests. Authorities also confiscated Brotherhood material and publications, the official said.
The Brotherhood's Web site identified the arrested as "top leaders of the group," and said they had gathered in the home of Nabeel Moqbil, a Brotherhood member and well-known businessman, in Giza, Cairo's twin city.