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Egypt court sentences 683 MB supporters to death
An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 683 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to death over assaulting and murdering police last year, state TV reported.
The defendants, including Brotherhood top leader Mohamed Badie, are accused of inciting violence and murdering policemen deliberately at Al-Adwa town in the Upper Egyptian province of Minya.
The files of the defendants will be passed to the country's Mufti, the highest religious authority, to give his Islamic legal opinion on the death sentences, which is not legally binding and could be ignored by the court.
Last month, the same court sentenced 529 Brotherhood members and supporters to death and referred their files to the Mufti who confirmed only 37 executions.
The court handed down its final capital punishment for the 37 and sentenced the remaining defendants to life in jail.
Violence has broken out following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the military since last July.
Last August, security forces used excessive force to disperse two major pro-Morsi sit-ins in the capital Cairo and Giza, leaving about 1,000 killed and thousands arrested.
In response, furious supporters of the deposed president staged anti-police rallies across the country that extended to storming police stations in several provinces including Minya.
In late December, the Brotherhood group was blacklisted by the interim-government as "a terrorist organization."
[Source: Xinhua, Cairo, 28Apr14]
Crisis in Egypt
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