Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie (Photo: Reuters)
The leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, was arrested by security forces on Thursday in a crackdown against the Islamist movement after the army ousted the country's first democratically elected president, Egyptian state television has confirmed.
The Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide, Badie was arrested in the northern city of Marsa Matrouh near the Libyan border, although security sources said they did not believe he had been trying to flee the country, according to Reuters.
The dramatic exit of President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday was greeted with delight by millions of people on the streets of Cairo and other cities, but there was simmering resentment among Morsi supporters and Egyptians opposed to military intervention.
An Islamist coalition led by the Brotherhood called on people across the nation to protest in a "Friday of Rejection" following weekly prayers, an early test of Morsi's ongoing support and how the military will deal with it.
Perhaps aware of the risk of a polarised society, the new interim leader, Judge Adli Mansour, used his inauguration to hold out an olive branch to the Brotherhood, Morsi's power base.
"The Muslim Brotherhood are part of this people and are invited to participate in building the nation as nobody will be excluded, and if they respond to the invitation they will be welcomed," he said.
Just before he spoke, the air force staged a series of flyovers in the smoggy skies over Cairo, a stark reminder of the military's role in the latest upheaval. The stunt, involving dozens of aircraft, was repeated at dusk.
A senior Brotherhood official said it would not work with "the usurper authorities." Another of its politicians said Morsi's overthrow would push other groups, though not his own, to violent resistance.
Morsi's removal after one year in office marked another twist in the turmoil that has gripped the Arab world's most populous nation in the two years since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.