Egypt court jails pro-Mursi 'rioters' for 3 years

CAIRO, March 11, 2014 (AFP) - An Egyptian court jailed 77 supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi Tuesday for three years for rioting during deadly clashes in Cairo that killed dozens last August, a judicial source said.

The court also ordered that they report to police regularly for another three years after their release.

The fighting erupted in the days following August 14, when hundreds died in clashes when security forces stormed two sit-ins demanding Mursi's reinstatement after his ouster by the military in July.

The defendants were arrested in central Cairo as they marched toward the Al-Fath mosque in the Ramses area - the site of clashes between Islamist protesters and security forces, state news agency MENA reported.

Separately, a criminal court in the southern city of Assiut sentenced 10 students from Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam, to three years for being members of a banned group and obstructing public work.

They were also convicted of possessing publications that allegedly incited people to oppose authorities.

Since Mursi's ouster, his supporters have gathered regularly to call for his reinstatement.

Their rallies have often deteriorated into street clashes with security forces and Mursi's civilian opponents. But their numbers have declined amid a government crackdown that has killed more than 1,400 people and arrested thousands.

Authorities designated Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group in December.

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