CAIRO, August 20 (RIA Novosti) – In escalating crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s interim authorities have arrested the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, local media reported Tuesday citing security officials.
The television channels and electronic media showed images of Mohammed Badie being escorted away by security personnel from an apartment in northeast Cairo.
Badie, 70, was charged in July with inciting deadly riots. He is facing trial on August 25 together with five other top Muslim Brotherhood officials.
More than 900 people have died in Egypt since last Wednesday in clashes pitting Morsi backers and security forces. The death toll climbed Sunday as it has been confirmed that some 80 people died and 549 were wounded on Saturday in continuing violence around the country.
The authorities said earlier they have arrested more than 1,000 Brotherhood supporters as part of a massive crackdown.
A month-long nationwide state of emergency, which includes a nighttime curfew in the capital, Cairo, and 13 other cities, was declared last Wednesday.
The Egyptian army deposed Morsi, who narrowly won the country’s first free presidential election last June with 51.7 percent of the vote, following mass nationwide protests against the rule of the Islamist president. His current whereabouts remain unknown, but he is rumored to be kept at an undisclosed military facility.