A number of leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood were arrested on Wednesday, an official said, after security forces began clearing two camps of Cairo protesters who were demanding the reinstatement of deposed President Mohammed Mursi.
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“We have arrested a number of Brotherhood leaders but it’s too early to announce their names,” General Abdel Fattah Othman, a senior official in the Interior Ministry, told the privately-owned CBC TV channel, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, an Interior Ministry official said around 200 armed protesters were arrested in Ennahda Square, the smallest of the pro-Mursi protester camps.
Some protesters were found in possession of machine guns and ammunition, security officials told Al Arabiya.
‘Listen to reason’
The Egyptian government urged supporters of deposed President Mohamed Mursi to “listen to the voice of reason” and halt violence on Wednesday, praising the security forces for showing self-restraint while breaking up their protest camps in Cairo.
In a statement, the government said it would press ahead with implementing an army-backed political transition plan in “away that strives not to exclude any party from participation,” reported Reuters.
It urged the protesters not to resist the authorities, adding that Muslim Brotherhood leaders must stop inciting violence.
“The government holds these leaders fully responsible for any spilt blood, and for all the rioting and violence going on,” the statement added.
(With Reuters and AFP)