Egypt's Interior Ministry says a key figure in the Muslim Brotherhood has been arrested after months on the run.

The ministry says Essam el-Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice party, was apprehended in the early hours Wednesday in an apartment in an eastern Cairo suburb.

El-Erian is one of the few senior Islamist figures still on the run.

The media-savvy el-Erian was among the group's more moderate figures but turned hard-line and went into hiding after the July 3 coup that ousted President Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the same group.

Egypt's new, military-backed authorities have cracked down on the group, arresting hundreds of Brotherhood figures and putting top leaders on trial on charges of inciting violence and murder.