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Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

  • VOA News

Supporters of former Egyptian president File - Mohamed Morsi, standing trial on charges of violence that broke out in Alexandria last year, react after two fellow supporters were sentenced to death, in a court in Alexandria, March 29, 2014.
An Egyptian court has sentenced 23 people it said were members of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood movement to 3-1/2 years each in prison, judicial sources said Sunday.

The accused were jailed in connection with protests in November against the trial of preisdent Mohamed Morsi who was toppled by the army last July.

They were found guilty of charges including attacking security forces and "thuggery", among other charges.

The first sentence handed to a leader of the Brotherhood since it was outlawed last year came on Saturday, when Mohamed El-Beltagy was jailed for one year for insulting the judiciary.

Morsi himself is still standing trial in a number of cases, charged with crimes including conspiring with foreign militant groups against Egypt, which carries the death penalty.

The Brotherhood was Egypt's best organised political party until last year but the government has accused it of turning to violence since Morsi was overthrown. The movement says it is committed to peacefully resisting what it views as a military coup.

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces.

The Interior Ministry says the gunmen opened fire Sunday when the security forces attempted to stop the attackers' vehicle on a road outside Cairo.

Authorities say the security forces were overpowered by the gunmen and were not able to apprehend the assailants.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters