CAIRO - The brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has been arrested by police in Egypt, security sources said Saturday.
Mohammed al-Zawahri, the younger brother of the terror network leader, was detained at a checkpoint in the Cairo suburb of Giza, the sources said.
He has been a vocal supporter of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement and the more extreme group to which he belongs, Al Gama’a Al Islamiya.
The arrest of the younger al-Zawahri came as more than 1,000 Brotherhood supporters and others opposed to the military’s overthrow of Islamist Morsi were detained Friday as mass protests turned violent.
Mohammed al-Zawahri was transferred from a police station to a maximum security prison out of concern his supporters would attempt to free him from the police station, the sources said. Police stations have been coming under attack in recent days.
Usually a suspect is not transferred to a maximum security prison until after conviction.
An Egyptian government official said Saturday that 173 people had died and more than 1,000 had been wounded in the clashes that began Friday.
The violence continued Saturday with an outbreak of gunfire near the al-Fath mosque in Cairo where a group of protesters had barricaded themselves inside.