CAIRO, (Reuters) – Egyptian police detained 20 members of the Muslim Brotherhood on Friday, security officials said, the same day the opposition group called for mass demonstrations to protest at the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
The Brotherhood, Egypt’s strongest opposition group, said police rounded up at least nine members in four provinces.
“The campaign (of arrests) is still going on,” the group said on its website (www.ikhwanonline.org).
The Brotherhood has historical and ideological ties with Hamas Islamists who rule the Gaza Strip. The group has been leading a broad campaign to end the Israeli-led blockade on the coastal strip.
The Islamist group called for mass protests nationwide outside mosques after Friday’s prayers. Israel says the attacks, which have killed more than 400 people, are designed to stop Hamas from firing rockets on towns in southern Israel. The Egyptian government, which says the Brotherhood is outlawed but allows it to operate, is wary that the group may attract more popular support by extending help to the Palestinians and criticising Arab states for not doing enough to stop the violence.