Egypt refers 188 to court over Kerdasa police killings

Ahram Online , Thursday 13 Feb 2014

Police officers stand in front of a damaged police station in the village of Kerdasa (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's top prosecutor has referred 188 people to court over a bloody attack that killed 14 policemen last summer.

Assailants, armed with firearms and RPGs, stormed a police station in Kerdasa in western Giza shortly after security forces killed hundreds of Mohamed Morsi supporters at protest camps in mid-August.

Fourteen policemen were tortured to death and some of the bodies were mutilated.

The attackers also seized weapons and videotaped the attack, known as the "Kerdasa massacre," to "humiliate" the police, according to a statement by prosecutors.

One hundred and forty-three defendants are in detention while 45 are on the run, the statement added.

They face charges of terrorism, murder, damaging public property and possession of weapons.

The public prosecutor claims the attack, the deadliest on police since Morsi's ouster in July, was orchestrated by Abdel-Salam Bashandy, a former Muslim Brotherhood MP.

The government has mounted a fierce crackdown on Islamists since Morsi's ouster in July.

A militant campaign targeting police and army has gained momentum since then. Dozens of policemen and soldiers have been killed in shootings and bombings in the Sinai Peninsula and more recently in Cairo and the Nile Delta.

Most of the upper echelons of Morsi's Brotherhood group, including the toppled leader himself, are behind bars and facing charges including incitement of murder.

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