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Egypt

Egypt prosecutor orders Muslim Brotherhood arrests

Prosecutors in Egypt have ordered the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leaders for allegedly inciting violence that led to the deaths of over 50 people. Senior figures including Mohamed Badie were among those charged.

Egypt tense as new government is formed

The announcement on Wednesday from prosecutors in Egypt refers to an incident on Monday when violent clashes erupted between the Egyptian army and supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.

The fighting took place outside the military's headquarters in Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood supporters claim the army committed a massacre, while the army claims they were acting in response to "armed terrorists."

Most of those killed were aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.

New prosecutor's first move

A judicial source told the AFP news agency that the 200 accused will be held for 15 days as investigations are carried out on charges of murder, incitement to violence, carrying unlicensed weapons and disrupting public order.

A number of leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood are among those charged.

The arrest announcement comes from Egypt's new prosecutor Hisham Barakat, who was nominated Wednesday by the military's interim head of state, Adly Mansour.

After the prosecutor under Morsi, Talaat Abdullah, was removed from his post when Morsi stepped down, the court appointed Abdel Meguid Mahmoud to succeed him. However, Mahmoud - who served under former dictator Hosni Mubarak - quickly stepped down and left the post open.

Murky way forward

On Tuesday, the country's main coalition that supported the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi denounced the country's proposed transition plan. The rejection came hours after Egypt's new interim premier, Hazem el Beblawi, had been named.

The National Salvation Front (NSF) announced in a statement late Tuesday "its rejection of the constitutional decree" which called for a rewriting of the constitution, the holding of a referendum on that constitution within four months and parliamentary elections within six months. The coalition said it would look into amendments to the decree, which was issued Monday, but did not specify which clauses it opposed.

Meanwhile the Tamarod campaign, which organized the mass protests calling for Morsi to step down, said it had not been consulted on the transition plan and would propose changes.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which backed Morsi, also rejected the decree and vowed to continue street protests until the former president returns to office.

It views Wednesday's arrest by the prosecutor's office as an attempt to put a stop to the Muslim Brotherhood's protests.

mz/kms (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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