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Egypt court designates Hamas military wing a terrorist group

January 31, 2015

CAIRO (AP) — A Cairo court banned the military wing of Gaza-based group Hamas on Saturday, designating it a terrorist organization.

The lawsuit claimed the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades played a role in recent attacks against security forces in Egypt.

After a major attack in October, the Egyptian military began clearing a buffer zone along the border with Gaza in an attempt to stamp out a cross-border network of tunnels that Hamas considers a lifeline.

Meanwhile ousted former President Mohammed Morsi continues to face trial for his alleged ties to Hamas and other Islamic militant groups. On Saturday, a Cairo court set May 16 for a verdict in Morsi’s conspiracy trial.

Morsi, a longtime Muslim Brotherhood official, is accused of conspiring to destabilize the country and cooperating with foreign militant groups--including Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. He is also accused of passing state secrets to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Morsi faces two other ongoing cases and a set of charges that have yet to be brought to trial.

Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, but his turbulent one-year rule left the country sharply divided. The military removed him from office in July 2013 following mass protests demanding his resignation. Since then, the government has launched a sweeping crackdown on the Brotherhood and other political opponents.

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