Arrest warrants have been issued for the two top leaders of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on charges that they instigated the killings of people taking part in peaceful protests against deposed President Mohammed Morsi, the official Mena news agency reported Thursday, citing statements made by the attorney general.
Investigators confirmed the accuracy of eyewitness statements identifying the group's spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie, and his "number two," Khairat El Shater, as the individuals who called for the killings of those who protested outside the Muslim Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters, Attorney General Ahmed Ezzeldin told Mena.
Morsi's whereabouts is unknown, but a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman said the deposed president is being held at the Defense Ministry.
The security forces began arresting Muslim Brotherhood leaders on Wednesday night.
Egypt's armed forces on Wednesday ousted Morsi, suspended the constitution and named a senior jurist as provisional head of state pending fresh elections.
The country's military chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, announced Morsi's ouster in a televised speech that sparked a celebration among the large crowd packing Cairo's Tahrir Square.
He was accompanied by a group of notables including Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Cairo's ancient seat of Muslim learning; Pope Tawadros, the head of Egypt's Coptic Church; and Nobel peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei.
Morsi's address to the nation on Tuesday, which came after the military gave him 48 hours to reach an accommodation with his opponents, "did not respond to the demands of the people," Al-Sisi said.
Critics accused Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood of doing little to address poverty and Egypt's struggling economy, of failing to advance the goals of the 2011 revolution that forced out strongman Hosni Mubarak and of seeking to monopolize power. EFE