Egypt's top prosecutor has referred 215 alleged Islamists to trial in a criminal court on charges of forming armed groups responsible for killing half a dozen security personnel and damaging public property.

The prosecutor said Sunday in a statement that only 125 defendants are detained. No date has been set for the trial.

Egypt's courts are swamped with the trials of hundreds of Islamists and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi on charges that include violence against state officials, treason and illegal protests. Harsh sentences, including life in prison and the death penalty, have been handed down in swift trials.

The prosecutor's statement said an investigation had revealed that the defendants in this case used the Internet to organize violent protests, calling themselves the "Helwan Brigades."