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Court sentences 5 to death in Kerdasa police killings.

Egyptian policemen evacuate Giza security chief Nabil Farrag after he was shot during a raid in the village of Kerdassah on the outskirts of Cairo, on September 19, 2013.

(AFP PHOTO / AHMED ALI)

The Giza Criminal Court sentenced five defendants to death Monday on charges of storming the Kerdasa police station and murdering at least 11 policemen in August 2013.

The defendants have previously been tried in absentia and given the death sentence, before a retrial was ordered upon their arrest, according to state media.

The court, presided over by Judge Nagy Shehata, had sentenced 183 of 188 defendants to death in February in the same case. Among the defendants, 151 people were held in custody, while the remaining 37 were on the run and tried in absentia.

The incident occurred during a period of intense daily clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and security forces, with violence also occurring in the nearby village of Nahia.

Violence escalated on 14 August 2013, shortly after security forces forcibly dispersed the Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Squares sit-ins. Both sit-ins were organised to show support for Morsi.

Prosecution authorities said the attackers seized weapons and videotaped the attack, which became known as the "Kerdasa massacre", to "humiliate" the police. Videos of the attack on the station and of the bodies of the dead officers were made available on the Internet.

In September, nearly a month after the dispersal of the sit-ins, a security operation was launched in Kerdasa. The operation's pretext was to arrest suspects in the police massacre, as Kerdasa had reportedly fallen under the control of alleged armed Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

A Ministry of Interior statement saidthe September operation was an "implementation of the prosecution's orders to arrest a number of terrorists and fugitives" involved in the attack on the Kerdasa police stationthe previous month.

A militant campaign targeting police and army has escalated since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013. Policemen and soldiers have been killed in shootings and bombings in the Sinai Peninsula, Cairo and the Nile Delta.

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:May 4, 2015
Words:354
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