Muslim Brotherhood declares 'rage day'

March 12, 2010 at 1:21 PM
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CAIRO, March 12 (UPI) -- Egyptian authorities arrested scores of ranking members of the Muslim Brotherhood in anticipation of unrest during Friday prayers across the country.

The number of arrests approached 40 during a security crackdown on members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood's Ikhwanweb news site said Friday was declared "Rage Day" in protest of "desecration" of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Israeli officials Friday sealed off the West Bank and tightened security around the old city of Jerusalem in an attempt to head off any disturbances. Palestinian injuries were reported when Israeli police prevented worshipers from entering al-Aqsa mosque for Friday prayers.

Clashes broke out last week when Israeli officials announced plans to build new settlements in the West Bank.

The report from Ikhwanweb said supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were expressing their anger at Israeli "arrogance."

Muslim Brotherhood officials announced this week they were putting their political ambitions on hold because the "general atmosphere (in Egypt) doesn't allow the formation of new political parties."

The group scored modest victories in 2005 parliamentary elections in Egypt running as independent candidates.

Several top leaders of the movement were arrested in February for what Egyptian authorities described as banned political activity.

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