Dec 18, 7:44 AM EST

Egyptian court convicts 41 Islamists for rioting, sends them to prison for up to 15 years

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ASSIUT, Egypt (AP) -- A criminal court in southern Egypt has convicted 41 Islamists on charges of rioting in August last year, and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from one to 15 years.

Prosecutors in the city of Assiut had argued that the defendants - all supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi - ordered or participated in riots there shortly after the security forces' deadly breakup of two Islamist sit-ins in Cairo on Aug. 14, 2013.

The Assiut rioting included torching of churches and attacking government buildings.

The court on Thursday also acquitted 60 defendants in the case.

The case is one of dozens in which members of Morsi's now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group, face charges from violence and membership in a terrorist group, to murder and conspiring with foreign powers.

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