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Egypt to Lift State of Emergency, Curfew

Egypt on Thursday plans to lift a state of emergency and nightly curfew put in place three months ago during a bloody crackdown against people who protested the army's ouster of democratically elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Hundreds of people were killed during the crackdown, and authorities continue to act against the Muslim Brotherhood -- arresting much of the top leadership and clashing with those demonstrating against the interim government.

At the same time, the military-backed government is moving ahead with a transition plan that envisions elections for a new president and parliament next year.

In a message from prison Wednesday, the ousted president said Egypt will not see stability until the coup that drove him from power is reversed and those responsible are held accountable.

In a letter read by one of his lawyers, Mr. Morsi praised his supporters for protesting his July ouster, and he accused Egypt's military leader General Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of treason.

The lawyer said Mr. Morsi's team is considering filing a lawsuit to ask a court to annul the general's actions.

Mr. Morsi is being held awaiting the January 8 resumption of his trial on charges of inciting murder and violence during clashes outside the presidential palace last December.

The trial opened last week, but the initial session lasted just minutes after Mr. Morsi and his co-defendants began chanting in protest. He rejected the proceedings, insisting that he is Egypt's legitimate president and that coup leaders should be tried instead of him.

If convicted, Mr. Morsi could face the death penalty.

Egypt's army removed him from power July 3, following mass protests by the opposition who accused him of trying to monopolize power and failing to fix the country's economy.

The Muslim Brotherhood has continually demanded that Mr. Morsi be reinstated as president.