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Apr 24, 9:34 AM EDT

Egypt sentences 20 to death in police killings

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AP Photo/Eman Helal

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CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court on Monday upheld death sentences against 20 suspected Islamists convicted of murder in the deaths of 15 people, including 11 police, during an attack on a police station in 2013.

The ruling by the Cairo Criminal Court awaits approval by the grand mufti, the country's highest Islamic authority, and a final verdict will be delivered on June 2.

The defendants are alleged to have attacked a police station in Kerdasa, close to the pyramids at Giza, in the aftermath of the military's ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The government later seized on the attack to justify a wide-scale crackdown on Morsi's supporters and other dissidents.

A lower court had sentenced 149 people to death in 2015. Final verdicts for the rest will be issued on June 2.

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