Egypt: 70 members of Muslim Brotherhood arrested in continued crackdown

Egyptian police rounded up and arrested Wednesday 70 more senior members and potential election candidates from the banned Muslim Brotherhood in the latest crackdown on the country's largest opposition movement, the group and a security official said. At dawn, the security forces stormed the homes of senior Brotherhood members in five Egyptian provinces, including Cairo, a security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. The detained were arrested on charges of joining a banned group in an attempt to revive its activities, the official said. The Brotherhood, which posted the names of the 70 detained on its Web site, said the arrests meant to prevent the group from running the city council elections on April 4. "These are political detentions aimed at influencing the group's decision to participate in the elections," senior Brotherhood member Essam el-Erian told The Associated Press. "They are arresting 'popular symbols' of the group in each province."