An Egyptian court sentenced 188 people to death Tuesday pending the opinion of the country's top religious authority, the latest mass death sentence handed down by the country's judicial system despite widespread international criticism.
The 188 were charged over the killing of 11 policemen last year in Kerdasa, a restive town west of Cairo considered a militant stronghold. The attack, which saw the policemen's bodies mutilated, is considered one of the country's grisliest assaults on security forces.
The defendants also were accused of attempting to kill 10 more policemen, damaging a police station, setting police cars on fire and possessing heavy weapons.
The attack happened on the same day that security forces brutally cleared two protest camps of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi's supporters, killing hundreds. Protesters were demanding the reinstatement of Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood group.
Some 22,000 people have been arrested since Morsi's ouster, including most of the Brotherhood's top leaders, as well as large numbers of others swept up by police during pro-Morsi protests.