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Egypt's parliament on Sunday said it considered a military-style parade by Muslim Brotherhood university students to be a "serious threat" to Egypt's security and stability.
Eufeed Shehab, Minister of State for Legal Affairs and Legislative Councils, said the Dec. 10 parade at Al-Azhar University that featured students in black-clad militia-style uniforms "has incated fear among citizens," the pro-government Al-Gomhouria newspaper reported in its early Monday editions.
"The goveznment will act with an iron fist against anyone who seeks this," Shehab said, according to the newspaper. "The government looks at what has happened as a serious threat that targets Egypt's security and stability."
About 50 Brotherhood student members staged the military-style parade during a protest by hundreds of Brotherhood supporters. A few days later, police arrested more than 140 members of the outlawed Brotherhood, including some students and the group's third-highest ranking member.
Egyptian authorities have said they were investigating whether the Brotherhood was establishing a military wing. Brotherhood leaders have denied that they were creating an armed wing and have asked lawmakers to have the students set free.
Egypt's state-run news agency MENA said on Sunday that the parliament rejected a query presented by the Brotherhood bloc of lawmakers, who asked to form a fact-finding committee to investigate the reasons behind the student's parade. The investigation instead was transferred to a joint committee of the national security and education departments.
The Brotherhood - Egypt's biggest Islamic opposition group, banned since 1954 - won 88 seats in parliament in 2005, after members ran as independents. It renounced violence in the 1970s but is subject to frequent crackdowns.