Egyptian authorities arrest 2 Islamist figures

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Egyptian authorities on Wednesday arrested two more Islamist figures: a top ally of the Muslim Brotherhood as he reportedly tried to flee to neighboring Libya disguised as a woman, and a spokesman for the Islamist group on his way to catch a flight out of the country.
Mourad Ali, a spokesman for the Brotherhood\’s political arm was taken into custody Wednesday at the Cairo airport, while cleric Safwat Hegazy was arrested near the Libyan border.
The arrests come a day after authorities detained Brotherhood spiritual leader Mohamed Badie. A court ordered him held for 15 days while prosecutors investigate allegations that he incited the torture and killing of protesters in June.
Meanwhile, a court is hearing a request for the release of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who has been held for more than two years after a popular uprising drove him from power.
Also Wednesday, the United Nations political affairs chief is in Cairo for talks aimed at ending Egypt\’s political crisis.
Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman is on a three-day mission described by a spokesman as a "push to restore peace and forge reconciliation."
Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi says there may continue to be problems in the coming weeks and months in Egypt, but that he does not see the situation becoming a civil war.
In an interview with ABC News broadcast late Tuesday, he said the political transition "will take some time" and that the country is moving in the right direction toward normalcy.
He also defended the conduct of security forces who carried out deadly raids last week at two protest camps in Cairo.  Beblawi said the government had warned the protesters to disband, and officers used only tear gas until they were fired upon by the protesters.
Authorities say the official death toll since   Morsi\’s July 3 ouster has topped 1,000, but the Brotherhood insists the toll is much higher.
A court in Egypt is due to rule on whether to release the former president, Hosni Mubarak, on bail.
Mr Mubarak is appealing against his detention on a corruption charge.
The 85-year-old is also being retried on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the uprising that forced him from power in 2011.
Meanwhile, EU foreign ministers are meeting to determine a response to the deadly crackdown by Egypt\’s interim authorities on the Muslim Brotherhood.
Some called for the bloc\’s 5bn-euro ($6.7bn) aid package to Egypt to be cut when more than 900 people were killed in clashes last week.
The deaths came after security forces cleared two sit-ins by people demanding the reinstatement of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Source: Agencies

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