Brotherhood members get life sentences for violence against Egypt army
CAIRO - An Egyptian military court on Tuesday sentenced 11 Muslim Brotherhood members to life in prison for violence targeting the army in the port city of Suez last month.
Forty-five other Brotherhood members were handed five-year jail terms, and eight defendants were acquitted.
The Islamists were accused of "shooting and adopting violent means" against the army in Suez on August 14 following a military crackdown in the streets of Cairo against supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Earlier today, Egyptian security forces sealed off roads leading to a Cairo bastion of ousted president Mohamed Morsi ahead of protests on Tuesday called by his Islamist supporters, state news agency MENA said.
It said police and army personnel closed all roads leading to Rabaa al-Adawiya Square which was one of the sites of a bloodbath on August 14 when the army cracked down on Morsi supporters.
Military vehicles were stationed at entrances to the square, it said, adding that the military also blocked entrances to Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square.
The security measures come ahead of a call by Morsi's supporters for nationwide demonstrations to mark two months since his July 3 ouster by the military.
On Monday, the Anti-Coup Alliance which is led by Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said the demonstrations would be held under the slogan: "The coup is terrorism."
"These demonstrations and other activities" were "aimed at achieving the return of Morsi," it said.
But the alliance's ability to mobilise supporters has greatly waned because of sweeping arrests which have netted the Brotherhood's top leaders among at least 2,000 Islamists detained since mid-August.
The military cracked down on sit-in protests by Morsi's supporters on August 14, killing hundreds in what became the bloodiest day in Egypt's recent history.
Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, served for only a year before the military ousted him in the popularly-backed coup.