By Federica Ibrahim
The prosecutor general referred 24 defendants in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura to criminal prosecution over belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and extremist cells.
Following investigations, the defendants were accused of cooperating with extremist groups in acting against the state and possessing weapons and bombs to execute a series of killings in the governorate of Daqahleya following the dispersal of sit-ins supporting former president Mohamed Morsi at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda squares in August 2013.
The prosecutor general also ordered to arrest three of the defendants in absentia.
The defendants were allegedly involved in the killing of police Sergeant Abdullah Metwally in Mansoura on 28 February. The public prosecutor had received a notice stating that attackers in a car and motorcycle had opened fire on the sergeant, who was killed instantly.
The prosecution’s investigation stated that in the wake of the dispersal of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins, the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood organised cells to attack the Egyptian state and carry out hostile acts against the armed forces and the police.
The Brotherhood has repeatedly distanced itself from the use of violence. Most attacks on police and armed forces since Morsi’s ouster on 3 July have been claimed by Sinai jihadist groups with no clear relation to the Brotherhood.
The interim government classified the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation in December of last year. Since Morsi’s ouster, the group has been subject to an intense security crackdown.