Egyptian police arrest senior Brotherhood leader al-Beltagy

Egyptian police arrest senior Brotherhood leader al-Beltagy

CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
Egyptian police arrest senior Brotherhood leader al-Beltagy

Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohammed el-Beltagy was arrested in a village outside Cairo Aug. 29. AP photo

Egyptian police arrested senior Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohamed al-Beltagy and a former minister on Aug. 29, the interior ministry said.

The firebrand politician was arrested in a village outside Cairo with former labour minister Khaled al-Azhari, who served in ousted president Mohamed Morsi's government, the ministry said.

Beltagy, who had issued defiant video recordings in hiding, was the latest Brotherhood leader detained in a wide-ranging crackdown on the movement.

A former member of parliament, he became one of the most vociferous opponents of the popularly backed military coup that toppled Morsi on July 3.

Police had already arrested the Brotherhood's supreme guide Mohamed Badie and much of the senior leadership.

Badie and his deputies are standing trial on charges of involvement in the murder of protesters who stormed the Brotherhood's headquarters on June 30.

Prosecutors had issued a warrant for Beltagy on charges of inciting violence. Although respected by many Islamist youths, Beltagy was not seen as possessing much influence in the top ranks of the Brotherhood.

He became one of the movement's chief spokesmen after Morsi's ouster, and outraged the former president's opponents when he said militant attacks on security forces in Sinai would end only with Morsi's restoration.

Letter for slain daughter made Turkish PM cry

Beltagy had also lost his daughter Asma during the Egyptian police's brutal crackdown against pro-Morsi protesters.

She was killed on Aug. 14 in a deadly police operation that broke up two protest camps in Cairo.

The letter that he wrote after Asma's death became a symbol of the anti-coup front.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had cried when the letter was read during a live TV interview last week. 

"I saw my own children in al-Baltagy's letter," Erdoğan said praising the Brotherhood politician.