Egypt arrests over 41 Muslim Brotherhood members

Authorities on Thursday detained 41 more members of Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood, a police official said. The arrests were the latest in an ongoing crackdown on the country's strongest opposition group. The Brotherhood members were rounded up in five provinces from early morning while they were campaigning for their candidates running in the upcoming Shura Council elections, the police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized give press statements. The arrests took place in the provinces of Giza, Gharbiya, Damietta, Daqahliya and Kafr el-Sheik. The police official gave no reason for the arrests, but said the detained were posting religious banners in their districts. Detained Brotherhood members are often charged with belonging to an illegal group. A statement posted later Thursday on the Brotherhood's official Web site claimed that so far, 814 of its members are in detention since December, including 646 members arrested following a recent police step-up in the crackdown ahead of nationwide elections for the upper house of Parliament, known as the Shura Council.