Cairo: Egyptian authorities have arrested the brother of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri for backing ousted President Mohammed Morsi, an official said today.
Mohamed al-Zawahiri, leader of the ultraconservative Jihadi Salafist group, was arrested in a sweep in Cairo, a high-level security source at the Interior Ministry was quoted as saying by state-run MENA news agency.
His group was allied with ousted President Morsi, whose supporters are protesting the removal of the elected government by the army on July 3. Nearly 180 people were killed in clashes yesterday between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and security forces.
Morsi's supporters took to the streets yesterday after Friday prayers to protest the killing of over 600 in a crackdown by the military-backed government on Wednesday.
The crackdown has divided Egyptians as never before in recent history, splintering the army-installed government and inviting international censure.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, a 62-year-old Egyptian physician and Islamic theologian, took over as al-Qaeda chief after Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert militray operation by US Special Forces in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad in 2011.
The US has offered a USD 25 million bounty for him.