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Middle east

Police arrest 20 Muslim Brotherhood opposition members

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-10-18

Egyptian authorities have detained 20 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest and most organised opposition group, which is allowed to operate openly despite an official ban.

Egyptian authorities detained 20 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest and most organised opposition group in the country and is officially banned, a security official said.

"They are accused of having held a political meeting at the home of one of them," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The members said the meeting was a protest against limitations imposed by Israel on access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, a site that is sacred to both Muslims and Jews, the official said.

The Muslim Brotherhood confirmed the arrests on its website, saying police forces raided the homes of nine of those arrested, including a former candidate in 2005 legislative elections, as they attended a meeting in the Nile delta city of Mansoura.

Despite an official ban on the group, the Muslim Brotherhood is allowed to operate openly and has an office in central Cairo, although the group faces regular crackdowns by the authorities.

In 2005, Muslim Brotherhood members running as "independents" won 88 seats out of 454 in parliamentary elections.

Date created : 2009-10-18

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