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Egypt Refers Alleged Brotherhood Supporters to Military Court

FILE - A Muslim Brotherhood supporter convicted of playing a role in the killings of 16 policemen in August 2013, stands behind bars during the trial in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 2, 2015.

An Egyptian prosecutor has referred to a military court 187 alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters who are accused of killing police officers in a 2013 attack on a police station.

Egypt expanded the jurisdiction of military courts in October to permit them to try civilians accused of acts ranging from attacking state facilities to blocking roads, part of a broad crackdown that first targeted Islamists but has expanded to include liberal activists.

The change followed some of the worst assaults on security forces since the military removed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in the summer of 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

The 187 are accused of storming Maghagha police station in the southern province of Minya in August 2013, weeks after Morsi's removal, North Minya public prosecutor Abdelraheem Malik told Reuters late on Saturday.

He did not specify how many of the 187 were already in custody.

They face charges of murder and attempted murder of members of the police, possessing weapons, and joining a banned group, Malik said.

The government has accused the Brotherhood of fomenting an Islamist insurgency after Morsi's removal, and has killed hundreds and jailed thousands of members of the group.

The Brotherhood said it is committed to political change through peaceful means only.

Military courts in Egypt tend to process cases more quickly than civilian ones.