Egypt refers 439 suspects to military tribunals

An Egyptian security official says the country's top prosecutor has referred more than 400 suspected Islamists to military tribunals for acts of violence and killings of policemen.

The official says that among the men it describes as Islamists were 300 from the southern province of Minya and 139 from the Nile Delta province of Beheira. The case involves last year's wave of violence that came in retaliation to a bloody police dispersal of an Islamist sit-in.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

In October, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi ordered the military to join forces with police in guarding vital institutions. The decree stipulated that perpetrators of any attacks against state facilities will be tried in front of military tribunals.

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