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Former Islamist PM arrested

Egyptian police arrested ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s former prime minister as tensions rose after a major car-bomb attack on a police building killed 15 people.

The interior ministry said ex-premier Hisham Qandil, who is facing jail after being convicted of failing to respect a court ruling while in office, was arrested in the desert outside Cairo with a “smuggler attempting to escape to Sudan”.

An unpopular prime minister who struggled to right a dire economy, Qandil has kept a relatively low profile since the military overthrew Morsi in July.

He represented an alliance of pro- Morsi Islamist groups in meetings with European mediators who tried to defuse tensions with the military-installed government.

Egyptians carry the body of one of the people killed in a car bomb attack earlier in the day, during his funeral in the Egyptian city of Mansura, north of Cairo, on December 24, 2013. (AFP)