Egypt police detain 12 members of Muslim Brotherhood

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CAIRO, Nov 10 (Reuters) Egyptian police have detained 12 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's most powerful opposition group, security and Brotherhood sources said today.

Members of the group detained in the Nile Delta province of Dakahlia include Mohammed Abdelrahim el-Rahman, a Brotherhood vice president in the province, and two lawyers, the sources said. The men were referred to the state security prosecutor.

Police detained the Islamists last evening and charged them with belonging to a banned group, the sources said. The detentions bring the number of members in custody to about 90.

The government says the Muslim Brotherhood is an illegal organisation and regularly detains groups of members without charge, often for months at a time.

But members of the group standing as independents hold one fifth of the seats in parliament, and the Brotherhood has an office in Cairo and can operate within limits.

Police detained 20 Brotherhood members in the Nile Delta province of Sharkia on Thursday, Brotherhood sources said.

Reuters SZ RN1836

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