29 Muslim Brothers arrested in Egypt

29 Muslim Brothers arrested in Egypt

Egyptian security forces on Tuesday arrested 29 members of the banned-but-tolerated Muslim Brotherhood, the country”s main opposition group, in a widespread operation, a police official said.

A judicial source said those arrested had been referred to a state security court for prosecution.

The Brotherhood”s website said arrests had been carried out in eight different parts of the country, including Cairo and the Nile delta.

Among those arrested was Mustapha El-Gheneimy, secretary general of the doctors” union in the northern town of Gharbiyyah.

Since December 27, when Israel launched a devastating military offensive against the Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Egyptian police have arrested hundreds of Muslim Brothers. The group”s site said 270 of them are still in jail.

The Brotherhood, founded in 1928, was officially banned in 1954 but is relatively tolerated. Using sympathisers running as independents, the group won one-fifth of seats in the 2005 parliamentary elections.