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Reports: Dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members arrested across Egypt

By Steve Almasy, CNN
December 27, 2013 -- Updated 0310 GMT (1110 HKT)
Female members of the Muslim Brotherhood are seen during their trial in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on November 27, 2013.
Female members of the Muslim Brotherhood are seen during their trial in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on November 27, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Egyptian broadcaster reports at least nine different roundups
  • NEW: Government threatens Muslim Brotherhood members with prison time
  • NEW: U.S. secretary of state calls Egypt's foreign minister
  • Five hurt in Cairo bombing

(CNN) -- One day after naming the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, Egypt arrested more than 100 people across the country Thursday, state media reported.

State-run MENA said among those arrested were 54 members of the Muslim Brotherhood charged with attacking police stations and inciting violence. The suspects were also accused of inciting riots and blocking roads, according to MENA.

The news agency reported at least nine different roundups of people.

A spokesman of the interior minister, Hany Abd El-Fattah, said anyone who is a member of the Brotherhood will receive a five-year prison sentence, MENA reported. People who help finance the group will be given a sentence of hard labor.

State of activism in Egypt
HRW: Arrests taken to new level in Egypt
Egypt imprisons more protesters

Al-Masriya TV, a state-run broadcaster said the interior ministry will detain anyone who attends a Muslim Brotherhood protest and they, too, will be sentenced to five years in prison.

On its official English language website, the Muslim Brotherhood vowed to press on with its protests and said it was time was "escalate revolutionary wrath."

"Let's begin with full force and peacefulness a new wave of majestic anti-coup action in a 'Revolutionary Rage' week," the group said.

The interim Egyptian Cabinet declared the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terror group Wednesday, the latest move in a crackdown against the group that backed deposed President Mohamed Morsy.

Morsy, the nation's first democratically elected President, was forced out of office in July and arrested, with detractors saying he was a tyrant trying to impose conservative values.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy Thursday to express U.S. concern over the declaration.

"The secretary underscored the need for an inclusive political process across the political spectrum that respects the fundamental human rights of all Egyptians in order to achieve political stability and democratic change," spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Bomb blast hurts five

Five people were wounded Thursday in an explosion near Al-Azhar University in Cairo's Nasr City neighborhood, according to local media reports.

A bomb disposal team defused a second bomb, al-Masriya reported.

The Nasr City neighborhood is a traditional stronghold of supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy of the Muslim Brotherhood.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

It was the second bombing of the week. On Tuesday, 16 people were killed in an attack on a police headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura.

Ansar Jerusalem, a jihadist group responsible for attacks in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, claimed responsibility for the twin bombing.

Also Thursday, one person was killed and seven were arrested in clashes between students and residents who live near Al-Azhar University, the Interior Ministry said.

EgyNews, a state-run news agency, reported the Interior Ministry told police to confiscate copies of the Muslim Brotherhood's newspaper, stop its publication and seal off the Justice and Freedom publishing house that print the group's daily.

Thursday's unrest comes in the lead-up to Egypt's referendum on a new constitution, which will be held January 14-15.

If passed, the constitution would ban religious parties and put more power in the hands of the military.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz and Hamdi Alkhshali contributed to this report.

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