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Egypt waits for final ruling

| Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 7:51 p.m.

CAIRO — Egypt's military-backed government on Tuesday signaled it was in no rush to dismantle the Muslim Brotherhood, preferring to wait for a ruling outlawing the ousted president's group to be upheld by a higher tribunal.

The group rejected the court verdict on Monday and vowed to appeal it. But with much of their leadership in prison and public opinion appearing to run strongly against them, analysts said the Brotherhood can do little more.

In New York, meanwhile, President Obama said that future support for Egypt would depend on its progress in pursuing democracy.

In the nearly three months since a coup ousted President Mohamed Morsy after millions took to the streets demanding his removal, the government has rounded up about 2,000 top leaders, mid-level organizers and rank-and-file members of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails. Many have been charged with inciting violence.

Hundreds have been killed in government crackdowns on protest camps and demonstrations, while Morsy supporters have attacked churches and police stations in retaliation.

The media depicts the interim government as waging a war on terror, and public opinion appears to support the crackdown as well as extraordinary measures, such as a state of emergency and a nighttime curfew, that the state says is necessary.

Monday's court verdict, which orders that the group be outlawed and its assets confiscated, was widely viewed as a dramatic escalation in the campaign against the Brotherhood, a prelude to the draining of its funding and the closure of its elaborate network of social services, schools and hospitals. These have been crucial to the group's effort to build grass-roots support and are credited with a major role in its election victories.

On Tuesday, Egypt's state-run news agency reported that the Cabinet has “postponed taking any decisions” to implement the court order, deciding instead to await “final court rulings out of respect for the judiciary.”

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