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A year after hundreds killed in crushed sit-in, Egypt's divisions still drawn in blood

  • Mideast Egypt Divisions Drawn in Blood-1.jpg

    FILE - In this Tuesday, July 9, 2013 file photo, a supporter of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, with a national flag, gestures to army soldiers on guard at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo. A year after hundreds were killed in the biggest massacre in modern Egyptian history, the division is even stronger, now drawn in blood, between Egypt’s traditional two strongest powers: A military aiming to restore its old order, and the Muslim Brotherhood trying to survive after being ousted from power. That rivalry likely locks Egypt into continued conflict, with fears democracy will be the loser. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Egypt Divisions Drawn in Blood-2.jpg

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi clash with the Egyptian security forces in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt. The scene on Aug. 14, 2013, was the start of the biggest massacre in modern Egyptian history, as security forces crushed the sit-in by Islamist supporters of Mohammed Morsi, the elected president who had been removed by the military a month earlier. At least 624 people were killed during 12 hours of mayhem in Cairo’s Rabaah el-Adawiyah Square, though rights groups have said the toll may be several hundred higher. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Egypt Divisions Drawn in Blood-3.jpg

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, a supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi shouts during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Nasr City district, Egypt. At least 624 people were killed during 12 hours of mayhem in Cairo’s Rabaah el-Adawiyah Square, though rights groups have said the toll may be several hundred higher. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Egypt Divisions Drawn in Blood-4.jpg

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, An Egyptian security force expresses his emotion as security forces clear a sit-in camp set up by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district, Egypt. The scene on Aug. 14, 2013, was the start of the biggest massacre in modern Egyptian history. The final toll was 624 dead, according to the government’s human rights agency. Abd-ul-Sattar said the Brotherhood-led coalition has documented 2,500 dead, though that is far above tallies put together by independent rights groups reaching nearly 1,000. Nearly 100 more were killed in the dispersal of the Nahda sit-in. Nationwide, 42 policemen were killed, including eight in Rabaah. (AP Photo/Hussein Tallal, File) (The Associated Press)

  • Mideast Egypt Divisions Drawn in Blood-5.jpg

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, Egyptian security forces detain protesters as they clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo. The scene on Aug. 14, 2013, was the start of the biggest massacre in modern Egyptian history, as security forces crushed the sit-in by Islamist supporters of Mohammed Morsi, the elected president who had been removed by the military a month earlier. At least 624 people were killed during 12 hours of mayhem in Cairo’s Rabaah el-Adawiyah Square, though rights groups have said the toll may be several hundred higher. (AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa, File) (The Associated Press)

Two senior police officials say security forces involved in the dispersal of an Islamist sit-in a year ago were assured beforehand they would not be prosecuted for any deaths in the operation.

The Aug. 14, 2013 dispersal of the sit-in by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi left at least 624 people dead. Eight policemen were killed by gunmen during the assault.

The two officials, who hold the rank of general in the Interior Ministry, which heads the police, told the AP that police were told to expect protesters to have weapons and should swiftly move to eliminate them.

The police involved in the dispersal were told "they will not be subjected to prosecution later on," one general said. The generals spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the preparations.