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Egyptian authorities arrest 2 Islamist figures

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MAGGIE MICHAEL | August 21, 2013 01:28 AM EST | AP

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CAIRO — Egyptian authorities have arrested two more Islamist figures: a hard-line cleric trying to flee the country across the Libyan border and a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood group before leaving for Italy.

The arrests are the latest in a crackdown by Egypt's new military-backed leaders against Islamists.

Egypt's state-run MENA news agency says Safwat Hegazy, a fiery Salafi preacher and top ally of the Brotherhood, was captured early Wednesday at a checkpoint near the Siwa Oasis, near Libya. He is wanted over charges of instigating violence.

Also, a security official says Mourad Ali, a spokesman for the Brotherhood's political party, was detained at the Cairo airport, trying to catch a flight to Italy. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.