Egyptian judicial officials have ordered former President Hosni Mubarak freed from jail, a stunning turnaround for the 85-year-old strongman who ruled the nation for three decades before being ousted in a popular revolution, and a move that could plunge the unraveling North African nation into further violence.
The announcement, which comes as Egypt is roiling with new protests following the ouster of Mubarak’s successor, stoked fears of even more violent reprisals from the Muslim Brotherhood, whose supporters have clashed with security forces and torched dozens of Coptic churches. Hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Egyptians have been killed in the last week in fighting between the Muslim Brotherhood and the nation’s more secular Muslims and Christians. On Sunday, some 25 Egyptian police were ambushed and executed in the lawless Sinai Peninsula, where the Muslim Brotherhood appears to have aligned with Al Qaeda fighters.
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