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Egypt: Fresh sweep against Brotherhood ahead of Suez Canal opening

Fresh crackdown campaign comes almost two weeks before official opening of canal's new shipping route

22.07.2015
Egypt: Fresh sweep against Brotherhood ahead of Suez Canal opening

CAIRO

Egyptian security forces have launched a massive crackdown campaign on the Muslim Brotherhood group ahead of next month's opening of a new shipping route of the Suez Canal, a security source said.

"Security forces have rounded up several supporters of the Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Morsi," the source told Anadolu Agency.

According to the source, around 20 middle-ranking Brotherhood members had been detained in the past few hours.

Egyptian authorities have yet to confirm the report.

The Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails, was designated a "terrorist" group by the Egyptian government in late 2013.

Following the 2013 military coup against Morsi, Egyptian authorities have carried out a relentless crackdown on the former president's supporters, killing hundreds and detaining tens of thousands.

On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch accused Egyptian police of forcibly disappearing dozens of people after secretly detaining them.

“Egyptian security forces have apparently snatched up dozens of people without a word about where they are or what has happened to them,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director of the organization.

The fresh crackdown campaign comes almost two weeks before the official opening of the canal's new shipping route on August 6.

The project is part of an ambitious plan by the Egyptian authorities to turn the area around the Suez Canal into an industrial and commercial hub.

Egyptian authorities say the project will double Egypt’s annual Suez Canal earnings from a current $5.3 billion to $13 billion.

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