Egypt declares Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation

Egypt's interim government has blamed the group for an attack on police headquarters

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The Independent Online

The Muslim Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist organisation by Egypt's military-backed interim government, criminalising all its activities, its financing and even membership to the group.

The decision to denounce the group as terrorists dramatically escalates the conflict between the government and the group backed by former President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted on 3 July. The Muslim Brotherhood had already been outlawed in September by the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters.

Hossam Eissa, the Minister of Higher Education said the decision was made in response to a bombing of police headquarters in the Nile Delta, north of Cairo on Tuesday that left 16 people dead and more than 100 wounded.

Eissa read out the Cabinet statement after a long meeting, saying: "The Cabinet has declared the Muslim Brotherhood group and its organization as a terrorist organization.

"Egypt was horrified from north to south by the hideous crime committed by the Muslim Brotherhood group.

"This was in context of dangerous escalation to violence against Egypt and Egyptians and a clear declaration by the Muslim Brotherhood group that it still knows nothing but violence."

The Brotherhood has denied being responsible for Mansoura attack and an al-Qa'ida inspired group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing.

The announcement comes after Egypt's prosecutors last week referred ousted Morsi to a third trial, on charges of organising prison breaks during the 2011 uprising and abducting policemen in collaboration with foreign militants.

These charges are separate from two other trials that Morsi already faces - over inciting the killings of his opponents and for conspiring with foreign groups to destabilize Egypt.

Some of the charges against Morsi carry the death penalty.