516 'Brotherhood elements' arrested on Egypt anniversary

Egyptian police arrested more than 500 supporters of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood when deadly violence erupted on the anniversary of the 2011 uprising, the interior minister said on Monday.

Cairo: Egyptian police arrested more than 500 supporters of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood when deadly violence erupted on the anniversary of the 2011 uprising, the interior minister said on Monday.

Protesters and security forces clashed yesterday after Islamists called for demonstrations against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government as Egypt marked the fourth anniversary of the toppling of ex-strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Supporters of Mubarak's successor, Islamist Mohamed Morsi, have regularly clashed with security forces since he was ousted by then army chief Sisi in July 2013.

Rights groups have repeatedly denounced the use of "excessive force" by the authorities to crush opposition rallies and accused police of making sweeping arrests.

Yesterday, "we arrested 516 elements from the Muslim Brotherhood group who were involved in firing ammunition, planting explosives and bombing some facilities," said Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who has overseen a bloody police crackdown targeting the Brotherhood.

Ibrahim told a press conference that 20 people were killed yesterday, most of them in Cairo's northern district of Matareya where clashes lasted more than 12 hours, adding two policemen were among the dead.

A health ministry official said one protester was killed in the northern city of Alexandria in similar clashes.

Three suspected militants also died when they mistakenly blew themselves up while planting explosives in the Nile Delta region, north of Cairo.

The authorities have blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the violence that has rocked Egypt since Morsi's ouster, including bombings and shootings targeting policemen and soldiers.

More than 1,400 people have been killed in a government crackdown targeting Morsi supporters, while over 15,000 have been imprisoned since he was ousted.

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