Egypt crisis: Police arrest Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader Mohamed Badie in Cairo

Mr Badie and his deputy Khairat el-Shater, go on trial later this month for their alleged role in the killing of eight protesters in June

Police in Egypt have detained the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to security officials and state television.

Mohamed Badie was taken into custody after he was found in an apartment in the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City, according to security officials and state television.

The apartment was very close to where supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi held a six-week sit-in protest that was cleared by officers last Wednesday.

Badie and his influential deputy Khairat el-Shater, who is also in custody, will go on trial later this month for their alleged role in the killing of eight protesters outside the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters in June.

His arrest is another step in the authorities’ crackdown on the Brotherhood’s leaders and officials, detaining scores of them across the country.

The arrest came the day after a bloody attack which saw 25 policeman killed in an ambush by suspected militants in the Sinai Peninsula.

It also follows a court ruling suggesting that the jailed former president Hosni Mubarak could be released later this week. The autocrat’s release could cause further unrest in the divided country after Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president and Mubarak’s successor, was removed in a military coup  on 3 July.

A state of emergency is in force amid the turmoil, with almost 900 people, including more than 100 police and soldiers reportedly killed since Wednesday.

The attack on a police convoy near the town of Rafah on the border with Gaza is thought to be one of the deadliest on state security forces in recent years.

On Monday night the 25 murdered policemen were given a funeral with full military honours. The men’s coffins were draped in red, white and black Egyptian flags and carried jointly by soldiers and police officers. Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour has declared a nationwide state of mourning to mark the men’s deaths.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the strategically important area is home to a number of radical militant groups, some with links to al-Qa'ida.

The United States condemned the slaying of the police officers, repeating its commitment to help Egypt combat terrorism in Sinai.

Mubarak, 85, has been in detention since April 2011, two months after he was ousted in a revolution against his rule.

He was  sentenced to life in prison last year for failing to stop the killing of some 900 protesters during the 18-day uprising.

His sentence was overturned on appeal and he is now being retried, along with his security chief and six senior police commanders.

Two judicial officials said Mubarak could walk free as early as this week, after a criminal court ordered his release in a corruption case. The former leader and his two sons were accused of embezzling funds in order to maintain presidential palaces. His sons will be kept in custody.

Freeing Mubarak during one of the worst bouts of turmoil since he was ousted would be a huge risk for the military-backed government.

It could lend credibility to allegations the mass protests that preceded the 3 July coup that toppled Egypt's first democratically elected leader were the work of Mubarak-era figures searching for a way to reinstate the former regime.

Last week, the military raided two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo, killing hundreds of people and triggering a wave of violence leaving at least 1,000 people dead.

Human Rights Watch has accused Egyptian security forces of using excessive force when they moved to clear the larger of the two camps.

The New York-based group said the assault amounted to the “most serious incident of mass unlawful killings in modern Egyptian history”.

Morsi has been held in an undisclosed location since he was deposed.

On Monday prosecutors ordered his detention for 15 days in connection with allegations that he conspired to kill and torture protesters during mass demonstrations by the opposition outside his presidential palace in December 2012.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention