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Middle East

Saudi and Kuwait arrest Brotherhood members

Arrests are first reported case of international co-operation to detain members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last updated: 12 Mar 2014 20:58
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Egyptian authorities have cracked down on the Brotherhood since the army overthrew Morsi in July [AP]

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have arrested two members of the Muslim Brotherhood - including a former Egyptian parliamentarian - after Cairo put an international arrest warrant on them on terrorism-related charges.

Egypt's office of the general prosecutor in a statement on Wednesday said Interpol had informed it that former politician Akram el-Shaer was arrested in Saudi Arabia and Mohammed el-Qabouti was arrested in Kuwait.

The statement said the two were wanted for inciting violence in their hometown, Port Said, following an August crackdown on two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo that left hundreds dead.

This is the first reported case of international co-operation to arrest members of the group. Egypt declared the Brotherhood a "terrorist group" late last year and Saudi Arabia followed suit last week. Kuwait has not.

Egypt has accused the Brotherhood of orchestrating a wave of violence in the wake of the removal of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency. The group denies the charges and says it is pursuing peaceful protests against Morsi's removal.

Little evidence

Most of the deadly bombings have been claimed by another group, and authorities in Cairo have released little evidence linking the Brotherhood to the attacks.

Egypt said Interpol informed it of the arrests, but the international police organisation, which is not required to accept requests to find suspects, did not confirm that it had co-operated with Cairo.

An Interpol spokeswoman said the group had no public notices for those names, but in some cases countries asked that they not be made public.

Saudi and Kuwait authorities could not be reached for comment.

On Sunday, Egypt's foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, called on countries to implement a joint Arab agreement to combat terrorism, by refusing to host members of the Brotherhood and to hand over those wanted.

The group has branches throughout Arab countries, and many members in the Egyptian branch also live in the Gulf.

The Brotherhood rose to power in Egypt following the removal of president Hosni Mubarak. Egyptian authorities have cracked down on the Brotherhood since the army overthrew Morsi in July after mass protests against him.

Hundreds of Brotherhood members, including Morsi, are already facing trial on various charges including inciting violence, conspiring with foreign groups to spread chaos, holding illegal protests and belonging to an illegal group.

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Source:
Associated Press
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