Police officials on Saturday said the suspects, who included students, civil servants and engineers, were arrested in the Cairo region.

Those arrested wanted government imposed prayers in state-run mosques to be banned and were plotting to "overthrow" the regime, police said.

They have been remanded in custody for 15 days.

The arrest occurred after the group had held a series of meetings to oppose a repeated call by an imprisoned leader of the group to reject violence, reported Aljazeera's correspondent in Cairo.

The Jama Islamiyya claimed responsibility for the killings of 58 German tourists and four Egyptians in an attack in southern Egypt in 1997.

But three years later the group's leadership renounced violence and have since published many articles and books expressing remorse over their earlier direction.

Since late July Egyptian authorities have arrested almost 60 members of the group.


The Jama Islamiyya is one of many Islamist groups banned by the repressive Egyptian government.

 

The authorities claim that leaflets denouncing President Hosni Mubarak were found in the possession of several of those detained.

The Jama Islamiyya is one of many Islamist groups banned by the repressive Egyptian government.

Egypt has been ruled under an emergency law since 1981, the year after the Jama joined forces with members of another Islamist organisation, al-Jihad, to shoot dead then president Anwar Sadat.

The law has been widely employed to stifle dissent and crack down on potential sources of opposition.

Thousands of persons have been detained without charge on suspicion of illegal terrorist or political activity; others served sentences after being convicted on similar charges.

In June the government arrested 11 members of the main
Islamist opposition organisation, the Muslim Brotherhood. It also brutally put down protests in April in the capital Cairo against the US-led invasion of Iraq.