Brotherhood: Egypt to explode

2010-03-18 21:09

Cairo - Mohammed Badia, the leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, warned the country was "about to explode", in remarks published in the independent daily al-Shorouq on Thursday.

The Muslim Brotherhood, though banned, is the country's largest opposition group. Members running as independents won roughly a fifth of seats in the lower house of Egypt's parliament in the 2005 elections.

Badia compared Egypt to "a room full of gas, about to explode", in remarks quoted by al-Shorouq.

"If the windows of freedom are not opened soon, everything will be destroyed," he was quoted as saying.

"We, the regime, and even the tyrants are all in the same boat. We won't let them destroy it," he said, since "We will all sink together."

Badia reportedly made the remarks at an event to celebrate the release of members who had recently been detained by security forces.

The government's most recent crackdown has in recent weeks snared 350 members of the group, including potential candidates in the coming parliamentary elections, lawyer Abdel-Menem Abdel-Maqsud told the daily, without specifying how many were still in jail.

Egyptian security forces routinely arrest members of the group, most often on charges of belong to a banned organisation.