Egypt arrests 23 opposition Muslim Brotherhood members

December 31st, 2008 - 4:45 am ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Dec 31 (DPA) Egyptian security forces Tuesday arrested 23 members of the banned opposition Muslim Brotherhood group as they prepared to meet to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip, according to a security official.The official said 23 people were arrested in front of Egypt’s Doctors Syndicate, where the meeting to discuss Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip was due to take place.

Earlier on Tuesday, dozens of security officials were seen surrounding the syndicate, located in downtown Cairo.

The Doctors Syndicate, along with the Bar association and the Press Syndicate, are known to be the centre of protests in the Egyptian capital.

The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt’s largest opposition group. It achieved an historic victory in the 2005 legislative elections, winning around 20 percent of the seats in the People’s Assembly.

Most of the thousands of Egyptians who have taken to the streets over the past few days to demonstrate against the Israeli attacks on the strip belong to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the radical Islamic Hamas movement, has left more than 360 dead and 1,700 injured. The air offensive - aimed at curbing rocket attacks by Palestinian militants from the strip - began Saturday.

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