Egyptian authorities have detained senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam El-Erian, the latest arrest in a government crackdown against the Islamist movement, an Interior Ministry source said on Wednesday.
Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, was taken into custody from a residence in New Cairo where he had been in hiding.
“Yes, he’s been arrested and details will soon be released,” the source told Reuters.
The state news agency MENA said Erian was arrested in New Cairo but gave no further details.
Local media circulated a photo of what they described as the moment he was arrested, showing a smiling Erian standing next to a bed with two packed duffle bags.
The Muslim Brotherhood Group was banned and many of its leaders have been detained and charged with inciting violence since the army, prompted by mass protests, deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi on July 3.
At least 1,000 people, including security forces, died in the violence that followed Mursi’s ouster. Hundreds of his supporters were killed when police forces stormed two protest camps, calling for Mursi’s reinstatement, on August 14.
An Egyptian court in September banned the Muslim Brotherhood group and seized their funds in a bid to crush the movement, which the government accuses of inciting violence and terrorism.
Photo: Essam el-Erian, deputy head of the Freedom and Justice Party, speaks during Egypt’s Shura Council meeting in Cairo May 25, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh