Muslim Brotherhood Appoints New Spiritual Guide

U.N. criticizes escalating violence as conservative party's leadership face arrest.

Mohamed Badie, right, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, waits in line to vote on Egypt's new constitution. The Brotherhood appointed a new leader after Badie's arrest Tuesday.

Mohamed Badie, right, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, waits in line to vote on Egypt's new constitution. The Brotherhood appointed a new leader after Badie's arrest Tuesday.

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The Muslim Brotherhood has elected a new interim spiritual leader, after Egyptian authorities arrested previous leader Mohammed Badie Tuesday as a continuation of the crackdown on the conservative political party.

[READ: Militants Strike Back Against Egyptian Police, Reports Say ]

Authorities found and detained Badie in his apartment in eastern Cairo, near the site of the sit-in protests supporting fellow Muslim Brotherhood member and ousted President Mohammed Morsi. The death toll likely exceeds 1,000 in the last week of violent clashes between police and activists.

Saudi Arabia-based Al Riyadh newspaper reports deputy leader Mahmoud Ezzat has taken over Badie's position temporarily.

Protests in recent days have petered out slightly as Morsi, who remains under house arrest, was ousted from power in a July 3 coup. He faces charges of killing and torturing protesters in December outside his Cairo residence, and for conspiring with Palestinian militant group Hamas to escape from prison during the 2011 uprising. Morsi had been jailed in early 2011 for controversial political actions.

Egypt's new government has been formed under Adly Mansour, the former head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, and enforced by Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the leader of the military. It is considering outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood for the kind of public and fiery activism Badie employed in his open criticism of the July 3 coup.

A video of Badie's arrest shows him sitting on a black couch with off-white clothing, while a man armed with an assault rifle stands nearby.

[PHOTOS: Violence Racks Egypt ]

His arrest was downplayed by some members of his party, including spokesman Ahmed Aref who said on the party's Facebook page, "Mohammed Badie is one member of the Brotherhood."

Badie's son Ammar was killed during violent clashes on Friday between pro-Morsi supporters and security officials.

On Monday, 25 police officials were executed in the northern Sinai region by suspected militants. The attack is considered retribution for 36 detainees who died when they tried to seize control of the bus that was transporting them to prison.

The attacks raise concern that the region of Egypt that borders on Israel could fall into a full-fledged insurgency.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks on Monday, calling for a full investigation. He was "deeply disturbed by the reported deaths," according to a statement.

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