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Egyptian security authorities on Monday detained a man suspected of spying for the Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah after he escaped detention during the January uprising, the official MENA agency said.

Hassan al-Manakhly, one of the 22-member Hezbollah cell, was arrested after making an appearance on a live talk show Sunday night in Cairo, MENA said.

Manakhly had been serving a 10-year jail sentence for spying for Hezbollah and “planning terrorist attacks inside Egypt”.

Egyptian authorities announced on February 3 that the 22 members of the cell had escaped from a prison during the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak a week later.

Hezbollah, which has had strained ties with Egypt for decades, had praised Egyptians on their “historic victory” after Mubarak’s ouster.

The Shiite group — which opposes the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel — sparked the ire of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak in late 2008 by accusing him of complicity with Israel during the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian courts last year sentenced 26 people, four in absentia, for allegedly planning attacks in Egypt on behalf of Hezbollah.

AFP

Photo: An unidentified Egyptian mother of one of the 22 suspected Hezbollah members, accused of plotting attacks on tourists and shipping in the Suez Canal and sending operatives and explosives to Gaza to help militant groups there, grieves outside Emergency State Security Court in New Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, April 28, 2010 . An Egyptian judge has sentenced three suspected Hezbollah members accused of plotting attacks on tourists, including its main Shiite leader, with life in prison. The rest of the suspects received sentences ranging from 15 years to six months. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

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