Egyptian authorities have arrested the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme leader for inciting the killing of protesters. With the ousted president also detained, Islamists are calling for a day of protest against the coup.
Egyptian military police on Thursday arrested Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Mohammed Badie in the western city of Marsa Matrouh.
Badie, who had been staying at the villa of a businessman with Muslim Brotherhood links, was flown to Cairo aboard a military helicopter, security sources said. Despite the city's proximity to the Libyan border, officials said they did not think Badie was trying to leave the country.
Both Badie and his deputy, Khairat el-Shater, are wanted for questioning over their part in the deaths of eight protesters this week in clashes outside the Muslim Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters.
Hundreds of warrants
Egyptian authorities have already made a number of other arrests, with some 300 warrants issued for members of the Brotherhood, according to state media.
The official MENA news agency reported that the group's deputy supreme leader Rashad Bayoumi had been arrested and taken to prison, along with Saad al-Katatni, the head of the Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.
One judicial source told the AFP news agency that questioning of members of the group, including the ousted Morsi, would begin on Monday. Among the charges would be that of insulting the judiciary.
'Friday of rejection'
Morsi has been held in an undisclosed location on a "preventative basis" since the coup that toppled him. The former leader may face charges in connection with his prison escape during the 2011 uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak.
Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood rejected any notion that it might work with what it called the "usurping authorities" as Egypt's interim leader judge Adli Mansour was sworn in on Thursday.
A coalition of Islamist groups led by the Brotherhood later in the day called for a "Friday of Rejection" against the coup. The National Coalition in Support of Legitimacy called on the Egyptian people to "take to the streets and mobilise peacefully" after Friday prayers "to say 'No' to military detentions, 'No' to the military coup."
Morsi's government came to an abrupt end on Wednesday after an army ultimatum for him to reach a compromise deal with opponents expired. Military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi announced the deposition of Morsi, claiming he had not done enough to end a deepening political crisis, along with a suspension of the constitution.
rc/jm (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)