CAIRO — An Egyptian criminal court has preliminarily sentenced eight people to death over charges of murder during an attack on a police station in a Cairo suburb in 2013.

Saturday’s ruling referred the case to the Grand Mufti — the country’s top theological authority — to solicit his non-binding opinion on the sentences, a formality in cases of capital punishment. The court will issue final sentences on October 10 in the case which involves a total of 68 defendants.

The attack, which killed six police officers, followed the deadly dispersal by security forces in Aug 2013 of two Cairo sit-in protests staged by supporters of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, ousted a month earlier by the military after one year in office.

At least 600 Morsi supporters were killed on that day.

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