ASSIUT, Egypt (AP) _ Police arrested 59 men for distributing literature recruiting for a Moslem extremist organization, a senior security officer said Saturday.

Gen. Nabil Abada, security chief in Assiut, a stronghold of religious militancy in southern Egypt, said the men were arrested on Friday carrying leaflets encouraging young men to join the Islamic Gamaat, or Islamic Groups.

It is an illegal, loosely knit organization composed mainly of groups that favor immediate application of Islamic law in Egypt.

The government says the organization leans toward violence to achieve its ends.