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Egyptian judge sentences 683 to death in police officer's killing

Egyptian judge sentences 683 to death in police officer's killing
Egyptians outside a court in Minya react to a judge's death sentence Monday for 683 supporters of toppled president Mohamed Morsi. (Khaled el Fiqi / European Pressphoto Agency)

MINYA, Egypt — Defense lawyers say an Egyptian judge has sentenced to death more than 680 alleged supporters of the country's ousted Islamist president over acts of violence and the murder of policemen in the latest mass trial in Egypt that included the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader.

Attorney Ahmed Hefni told reporters outside the court in the southern city of Minya on Monday that the death sentences first have to be approved by Egypt's mufti, the top Islamic official — a step that is usually considered a formality.

The case is linked to deadly riots that erupted in Minya and elsewhere in Egypt after security forces violently disbanded sit-ins held by Brotherhood supporters in Cairo last August.

Hundreds were killed as part of a sweeping campaign against ousted President Mohammed Morsi's supporters.

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